Pyrenees search for Esther Dingley, of Durham, scaled back

RESCUE teams are understood to be scaling back the search for North-East woman Esther Dingley who went missing in the Pyrenees.

The 37-year-old went hiking alone in the mountains on the French-Spanish border on Saturday, November 21.

An experienced adventurer, she had set off on a solo trip leaving her vehicle in Spain, where she started walking.

She was due to return to Gascony, in France, to meet her partner Dan Colegate last Wednesday but, when she failed to make contact, he reported her as missing.

French authorities said six search teams had been out looking in the area and helicopters were deployed to comb both the French and Spanish sides of the border.

However, it is now understood that the search operation is being reduced, partly due to worsening weather conditions.

The last contact Ms Dingley made with her partner was a Whatsapp message and photograph sent from Pic de Sauvegarde, the day after she set off.

According to the gendarmerie, witnesses told the Civil Guard in Spain they saw Ms Dingley at that location.

But, with few people trekking in the French hills because of the country’s lockdown rules, there have been no confirmed sightings since.

The Northern Echo:

The couple, from Durham, have been travelling around Europe in a camper van, cycling and hiking, since 2014.

Just this month The Northern Echo reported that they had released a a book series based on their adventures.

Durham couple launch book series inspired by European adventure

The Northern Echo | Durham