A British father and his young son died in a horrific hiking accident in the French Alps this weekend, according to local authorities. Early Sunday morning, search teams recovered both bodies, which were reportedly found in close proximity to one another.
Father and son were hiking together early Saturday when tragedy struck the pair. The 12-year-old boy reportedly fell from an icy trail on Mont Blanc, plummeting hundreds of feet off a cliff and disappearing from view. Police believe his father attempted to rescue the young boy, tragically falling to his own death in the process.
The heartbreaking tragedy reportedly occurred as father and son were making their way up a trail on the Couloir des Bossons, located in an area of the Mont Blanc mountain range above Chamonix valley.
According to French authorities, the trail is well-known and used by visitors frequently during the summer months. However, the path is considered both difficult and treacherous when affected by winter weather conditions such as ice and snow.
The boy’s father reportedly made a distress call to the Mountain Police Squad at Annecy on Saturday afternoon. Before losing cell phone connection, the man was able to report that his son had fallen and was no longer in his line of sight.
Captain Patrice Ribes, deputy commander of the mountain rescue gendarmerie at Chamonix, spoke about the call on Sunday.
“He said he could no longer see him and couldn’t get to him,” explained Ribes. “We think the father tried to find his son after he called us and asked for rescue. We believe he fell as he tried to find his son.”
After losing contact with the desperate father, rescue workers reportedly dispatched search helicopters and attempted to trace the man’s cell phone location. However, rescue teams were unable to locate the father or son on Saturday.
Police were able to establish the fallen hikers’ identities overnight. Photographs sent to family members by the father and son during their hiking trip allowed rescuers to ascertain where the pair may have been located at the time of the tragic accident.
While the names of the father and son who tragically died in the Alps have not been released, it has been reported that the pair were visiting the area from Buckingham, England.
[Images via Wikipedia]