A father and his teenage son were this morning rescued from the Mourne Mountains after going missing for 13 hours.
The alarm was raised by their family when they didn’t return from a camping excursion on Monday.
A search operation involving the Mourne Mountain rescue team and the coastguard got under way around 11pm yesterday - and the pair were located and brought to safety around 5am today.
A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman said they received a call from the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team requesting helicopter assistance not long after 12.30am in the search “for two missing people in the Meelmore area of the Mourne Mountains”.
“A rescue helicopter was tasked to the area, but was stood down due to a low cloud base,” he said. “The South Down Coastguard Rescue Team was also tasked to provide a communications link.
“After a thorough search by mountain rescue teams and coastguard units the two people were found safe and well near the Ben Crom Reservoir at around 4.40am.”
MP for the area, Margaret Ritchie, has praised the Mourne Mountain rescue team for their dramatic rescue.
She said: “I understand the father and son had been camping on the Mournes on Sunday night, and the alarm was raised when they failed to return home on the Monday.
“The extremely bad weather on Monday caused the pair to become disorientated and I understand both were exhausted and suffering hypothermia when found.
“I want to acknowledge the diligence and work of the Mourne Mountain rescue team who were instrumental in finding the pair and ensuring a safe rescue from the Mountain side.”
She said she had “no doubt the efficient and industrious work of the rescue team enabled a successful rescue of the duo”.
She urged anyone visiting the Mournes this summer or autumn “to be mindful of how quickly weather conditions can change and impact your camping trip”.