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Search continues for Trinity College professor who went missing on Everest

An American and Indian climber have died on the mountain this week.

Seamus Lawless has been missing since last Thursday.
Seamus Lawless has been missing since last Thursday.
Image: Facebook/SeamusLawless

Updated May 23rd 2019, 9:08 PM

THE SEARCH TO locate missing Trinity professor Séamus Lawless, who fell on Mount Everest last week, is set to resume today.  

The climber went missing at an altitude of around 8,300m, hours after he completed a lifetime ambition of reaching the peak of the world’s highest mountain last Thursday. 

An assistant professor at the university’s School of Computer Science, he was one of four Irish people who climbed Mount Everest as part of a group called ‘Ireland on Everest’ this month.

A fundraising page set up on Friday night by the Trinity professor’s family has reached over a third of its €750,000 target.

The family issued an update through the page to say that search efforts for Shay were able to resume as weather conditions on Everest had improved. 

“The expedition team, led by Noel Hanna with eight highly skilled Sherpas, has flown to Camp II and will commence their search from Camp IV tomorrow, which is not far from where Shay went missing.

The team is also using drone technology to assist them in the search operation and our thoughts and hopes are with them.

Hanna, an experienced climber from Co Down who was part of Lawless’ expedition team, will lead the team of eight high-altitude Sherpa climbers.

Chairman at Seven Summit Treks, Mingma Sherpa, told the Himalayan Times that the team will begin a search for the missing 39-year-old Irish climber this morning. 

“The team, equipped with search and recovery equipment, will try its best to recover Lawless’s body from the Mt Everest death zone,” he said.

Deaths

Meanwhile, a large queue of climbers have formed near the summit of Mount Everest as expedition organisers reported two deaths on the world’s highest mountain. 

An American and Indian climber are the latest fatalities, their expedition organisers said, on one of the busiest-ever days on the the 8,848-metre peak.

Donald Lynn Cash (55) collapsed at the summit yesterday as he was taking photographs, while Anjali Kulkarni, also 55, died while descending after reaching the top.

Kulkarni’s expedition organiser, Arun Treks, said heavy traffic at the summit had delayed her descent and caused her death. 

“She had to wait for a long time to reach the summit and descend,” said Thupden Sherpa. “She couldn’t move down on her own and died as Sherpa guides brought her down.”

Pasang Tenje Sherpa, of Pioneer Adventure, told AFP that Cash collapsed on the summit and died close to Hillary Step as guides were bringing him back. 

With reporting by AFP

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Adam Daly

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