Man who died on Ben Nevis named as father-to-be Samuel Crawford

A man who died after falling about 300 metri (1,000ft) down the UK’s highest mountain has been named as Samuel Crawford.

The 28-year-old climber from Newtownards, County Down, Irlanda del Nord, slipped on the west side of Ben Nevis on 8 marzo , suffering fatal injuries, come 23 others were rescued in “ferocious” conditions.

Crawford was married 18 months ago, and his wife Sophie is pregnant with their first child, the family’s minister said.

In a tribute on east Belfast’s Sandown Free Presbyterian Church Facebook page, Reverend Garth Wilson said: “He was one of the brightest lights in our congregation in Sandown and we will miss him terribly.

“Samuel was a fantastic husband to Sophie, and he would have been the best father to their little unborn child. He was also a great son and brother and was loved by so many.

“The outpouring of grief since Samuel’s tragic death, shows just how much he was loved and so highly thought of by everyone.”

Crawford was with his two best friends, Conor Bannister and Stephen McVeigh, when he fell, Wilson said.

The father-to-be, survived also by his parents and sisters, spoke just over a year ago at Sandown Free Presbyterian Church about how his faith helped him through a serious illness, the BBC reports.

Jim Shannon, the Democratic Unionist party MP for Strangford, who said he had known the family for years, also paid tribute to Crawford, describing him as “very committed to his family”.

Mountain and police rescue teams were sent to Ben Nevisafter the alarm was raised at about 2.15pm on Tuesday.

Twenty-three people were either airlifted by coastguard search and rescue helicopters from Prestwick and Inverness or walked off the 1,345-metre mountain by about 40 rescuers during an eight-hour operation.

Brian Bathurst, the deputy team leader of Glencoe mountain rescue team, said the conditions were “ferocious” due to the extent of ice, wind and rain.

Members of an army climbing group tried to rescue Crawford, with two receiving minor injuries requiring hospital treatment.

He is the sixth person to have died in the Scottish mountains in the last two weeks.

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