Page last updated at 00:50 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

US climber's body recovered from St Helens volcano

A helicopter above Mount St Helens, 16 Feb 2010
Mount St Helens is an active volcano in the US Pacific Northwest

Rescue teams have recovered the body of a veteran climber who fell into the crater of the Mount St Helens volcano in the US, the local sheriff has said.

Joseph Bohlig, 52, fell to his death on Monday when a snow shelf gave way near the rim of the volcano in Washington State as he posed for a photo.

A helicopter flew into the crater and recovered his body, which officials had described as showing no signs of life.

Previous attempts to reach him had been held up by high winds and low clouds.

"We're sorry that he's gone, that he didn't make it," the climber's 84-year-old father, Richard Bohlig, told the Associated Press news agency.

"He was doing something he enjoyed very much. That's all I can say."

Mr Bohlig reached the summit after a four-hour hike with a friend.

Both men were experienced climbers and Mr Bohlig had climbed St Helens 68 times before the accident, AP quoted the Skamania County Sheriff's office as saying.

He was approximately 5ft (1.5m) from the edge of the crater when the snow collapsed. He plunged some 1,500ft (450m) down a sheer wall of rock and ice.

Mount St Helens, south of Seattle, erupted violently in 1980, killing 57 people.

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