Missing rambler, 75, split from friends on ‘too difficult’ route
MOUNTAIN rescue teams continued to search for a pensioner yesterday after he went missing while out walking with friends in the Highlands.
William Robb, 75, from the Aberdeen area, was last seen at about 10:30am on Sunday while on the long-distance trail, the Speyside Way near Fochabers.
He was last seen by members of his walking party, who said Mr Robb had been finding the route too challenging and so
arranged that he should take
They had agreed that he would meet up with the group’s bus at Fochabers and the rest of the ramblers would board the vehicle at Craigellachie.
However, he did not appear at the arranged meeting point and emergency services were contacted at 5:45pm.
Mr Robb’s disappearance sparked a major search, with Grampian Police dog handlers and three dogs from the Search and Rescue Dog Association working throughout the night in a bid to trace the missing pensioner.
Yesterday, the search was bolstered by 30 members from the Grampian Police, Braemar, Aberdeen and RAF Lossiemouth mountain rescue teams.
As the day progressed, an RAF Sea King search and rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth joined the search.
Danny Lawson, from the Grampian Police mountain team, who is co-ordinating the search, said that Mr Robb went missing after his walking group had strayed from the marked pathway.
“Not long after being dropped off, the group managed to lose the marked trail,” he said.
“In an effort to get back on track, they cut across a field up an embankment and realised that ahead of them there was another field with some livestock, but they could see where they wanted to be.
“The majority of the group crossed that field but Willie Robb decided that there would be a better and alternative way and he turned back at that point. And that, unfortunately, is the last that the group saw of him.
“They carried on to complete the walk, waited for him and he did not appear.”
He said part of the route took in an unclassified road between Boat of Brig and Fochabers and appealed to drivers who may have caught sight of the missing hillwalker to contact the force.
One walking guide to the Speyside Way describes the stretch as “pleasant, undulating country lanes”, although after Boat of Brig it says that the path is “a more strenuous section up through the forestry” before a descent that leads to Craigellachie.
Police have described Mr Robb as 5ft 6in, with a slim build and receding, grey hair. He was wearing a blue Goretex shell jacket with trousers and hiking boots, and was carrying a green rucksack.
The search was suspended last night and was due to begin again today.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North