Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Sunday, May 16, 1999 Published at 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK


UK

Everest climber feared dead

Michael Matthews, left, with friend Jamie Everett

A British climber is missing presumed dead after conquering Mount Everest.

Michael Matthews, 22, from south-west London was the youngest Briton to climb the peak.


BBC News' Caroline Simpson: Mr Matthews disappeared in atrocious weather
Mr Matthews disappeared as bad weather closed in as he made his descent from the summit on Thursday.

The London-based securities trader, was accompanied to the top of the 8,848 metre (29,028 ft) peak by fellow Briton Christopher Brown, 53, and Constantine Niarchos, 37, from Switzerland.

Mr Brown and Mr Niarchos, from the nine-member O.T.T. British Everest Expedition, returned safely and are resting at basecamp.


David Matthews recalls their last contact
Michael's father David Matthews, 55, said: "He was last seen by his climbing colleague about 600-700ft below the south summit descending in poor weather.

"An atrocious gale blew in and he became detached from his colleagues."

No chance

Mr Matthews, who runs a hotel on St Barth's, in the French West Indies with wife Jane, said there was no chance his son could have survived on the mountain.

He said: "Michael's oxygen would have run out within a couple of hours of him becoming detached.

"It has to be remembered this is the highest mountain in the world, and when the weather closes in at the top it can be savage."

Mr Matthews said his son was a very experienced mountaineer, who had climbed all over the world.

He said: "He was the youngest Briton to have reached the summit of Everest, although, funnily enough, he didn't hold that as an ambition - he just did it because he loved to climb."


Friend Jamie Everett pays tribute to Michael Matthews
Jamie Everett, a friend of Mr Matthews and a fellow climber, said: "He was a very talented climber, but it wasn't the all-consuming part of his life.

"To be honest, he would have been good at anything he tried to do, he was just a very talented guy."

Bodies airlifted

His father moved to the West Indies a few years ago with his mother and younger brother, Spencer, 10, while Michael settled in Fulham with his elder brother James, 23, both men working in the City.

  • Two climbers have died after slipping on wet grass and plunging 200m on a Scottish mountain.

    Donald Fraser, 32, and Carol Ann Murdoch, 25, were in a party of four climbing An Teallach, near Dundonnell, north-west Scotland.

    Police said the alarm was raised by their companions.

    Mountain rescuers were alerted and their bodies were brought down by an RAF helicopter.

    Mr Fraser lived in Craigard Terrace, Inverness, and Ms Murdoch in Torridon Park, Forres, northern Scotland.





    Advanced options | Search tips




    Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


  • UK Contents

    Northern Ireland
    Scotland
    Wales
    England

    Relevant Stories

    07 May 99 | South Asia
    Search for Everest pioneer's camera





    Internet Links


    Mountainzone.com daily despatches index

    Nasa radar image of Mt Everest


    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




    In this section

    Next steps for peace

    Blairs' surprise over baby

    Bowled over by Lord's

    Beef row 'compromise' under fire

    Hamilton 'would sell mother'

    Industry misses new trains target

    From Sport
    Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

    From Business
    Vodafone takeover battle heats up

    IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

    Thousands celebrate Asian culture

    From Sport
    Christie could get two-year ban

    From Entertainment
    Colleagues remember Compo

    Mother pleads for baby's return

    Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

    From Health
    Nurses role set to expand

    Israeli PM's plane in accident

    More lottery cash for grassroots

    Pro-lifers plan shock launch

    Double killer gets life

    From Health
    Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

    From UK Politics
    Straw on trial over jury reform

    Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

    Ex-spy stays out in the cold

    From UK Politics
    Blair warns Livingstone

    From Health
    Smear equipment `misses cancers'

    From Entertainment
    Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

    Fake bubbly warning

    Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

    From UK Politics
    Germ warfare fiasco revealed

    Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

    Tourists shot by mistake

    A new look for News Online