Nepal | July 16, 2019

Noel Hanna among nine climbers to search for missing Irish professor on Mt Everest

Rajan Pokhrel

FILE: Seamus Sean Lawless. Courtesy: Facebook/Seamus

KATHMANDU: A team of professional high-altitude climbers is all set to leave for the balcony area of the world’s highest peak on Wednesday evening to carry out the search for the missing Irish mountaineer in the death zone of Mt Everest.

The expedition handling agency in coordination with the Irish government and victim’s family today decided to launch a recovery operation above Camp IV on Mt Everest where Seamus Sean Lawless, 39, an assistant professor in artificial intelligence at the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College, Dublin has gone missing since May 16.

According to Mingma Sherpa, Chairman at Seven Summit Treks, a team of nine climbers led by Irish mountaineer Noel Hanna has been formed to begin a search and recovery operation above the Camp IV on Mt Everest.

“Hanna-led team will leave for Camp IV from the base camp later this evening,”  Sherpa said, adding that there would be eight high-altitude Sherpa climbers including Tashi Lakpa Sherpa, a director at Seven Summit Treks and Temba Bhote, a lead guide of the expedition. Hanna and Bhote along with Lawless made it to the summit of Mt Everest on Thursday.

According to Sherpa, the team will begin a search for the missing Irish climber on Thursday morning. “Hanna was a team leader of the expedition while Bhote served as a lead guide to the team,” Sherpa said, adding that the duo were aware of the location at the balcony area from where Lawless reportedly slipped while descending from the summit point.

Upon arrival at the base camp, fellow climbers reported that they saw Lawless slipping from the height of 8,300 m, according to Sherpa. “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.

In Ireland, a gofundme page has also been set up to help search for missing Trinity College professor.


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