Second death in fall on Helvellyn in Lake District

Image caption,
Police have warned visitors to Helvellyn to take extra care

A second man has died in a fall from a Lake District mountain.

Philip Ashton, 43, from St Helens, Merseyside, was with friends when he fell from Swirral Edge on Helvellyn on Thursday. He died later in hospital.

Three days earlier, 39-year-old Alan Burns from Preston, Lancashire, suffered fatal head injuries in a fall from the same ridge.

Police and mountain rescuers have warned visitors to the area to take extra care and be well-equipped.

Mike Blakey, deputy leader of the Patterdale Mountain Rescue team, said: "This was a tragic accident and our thoughts are with Mr Ashton's family at this time."

A Cumbria Police spokeswoman said: "Mr Ashton was winched on to an RAF helicopter and taken to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle with head injuries.

"This is the second death after a fall from Swirral Edge this week so we are reminding walkers to take extra care and ensure they are fully equipped for the conditions before taking to the fells."

Earlier this month a County Durham man was killed when he fell 25m (80ft) at the frozen Cautley Spout waterfall in the Eastern Howgills, south of Kirkby Stephen.

On Wednesday a group of walkers, which included three young children, had to be led to safety after getting lost in the dark at Boredale Hause, Patterdale.

Mr Blakey said that although temperatures were rising, it was still "full-on winter" on summits.

'Most stunning'

He said: "All who venture on to the fells in winter should be well equipped, with ice axe, crampons, map, compass and torch.

"They should also have the skill level and navigational experience for their intended route.

"We are not saying 'don't go' because the fells at this time of year are at their most stunning.

"But people must be aware that it is full-on winter on summits with snow and ice and the days are short."

He said volunteers had attended 83 rescues in 2010, making it the busiest year in the team's history.

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