NORTH YORKSHIRE, England – An 80-year-old hiker missing for three days may have been just as surprised to learn that people were looking for him as they were when he showed up at his own press conference Tuesday.
Harry Harvey, an experienced hiker, was walking in North Yorkshire, England when a “really heavy hailstorm” and “howling gale of wind” separated him from his group Sunday, according to the BBC.
“By the time I got my kit on it was getting really dark, so I missed what I would say was a turning,” he told local journalists Tuesday. “I had a plan B straight away, find somewhere safe to camp, put my tent up, keep warm, and that was it.”
Harvey said he saw search teams Sunday afternoon, but had no idea they were looking for him, the BBC reports. Police even used a helicopter to comb the countryside for the missing retiree.
After “three good nights wild camping,” Harvey approached a wildlife photographer who recognized him as the missing man in photographs posted at a local pub, the Tan Hill Inn. She gave him a ride to the Tan Hill Inn, and he showed up just in time for a press conference organized on his behalf.
Harvey’s family reportedly called his disappearance “torture,” adding “we know he is experienced, but not three nights, that’s taking it a little bit to the extreme.”
Local Inspector Mark Gee said in a statement: “This is fantastic news that Harry has been found safe and well. I want to thank all the search volunteers for their time, as well as Gamekeepers, estate owners, farmers and local residents for their help and understanding. Thanks also to the Tan Hill, who looked after the volunteers and Mr Harvey’s family.”
Aside from a bump to the head after slipping into a stream, Harvey is doing well.