Wales

North Stack climbers: Two men were teacher and ex-pupil

  • 17 June 2013
  • From the section Wales

Two climbers whose bodies were found in the sea by search crews on the north Wales coast were a teacher and former pupil at a Sussex independent school.

Inquests have been opened and adjourned on Vaughan Richard Holme, 48, of Horsham, Sussex, and Jack Hutton-Potts, 23, of Petersfield, Hampshire.

Both men were experienced climbers, said John Franklin, head of Christ's Hospital school in Horsham.

He said the deaths had "shocked and saddened" staff and pupils.

The bodies of the two men were reportedly found roped together near North Stack, Anglesey, site of the 400ft (120m) Gogarth cliffs, on Sunday after an air and sea search.

The pair had been reported missing on Saturday night after they had failed to meet friends.

Image caption The bodies of the two men were found near North Stack, Anglesey

Mr Holme, a father-of-two, was a teacher and housemaster at Christ's Hospital.

Jack Hutton-Potts was a former pupil or "old blue", having attended the school from 2001 to 2008.

Mr Franklin said: "The tragic loss of a popular teacher and a young old blue who were both experienced climbers, has shocked and saddened staff, pupils and the old blue community.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and in particular, Mr Holme's wife and his two children in this difficult time."

The alarm was raised just after 22:00 BST on Saturday when the climbers failed to meet friends. Search crews worked through until 01:00 BST on Sunday, but only found two rucksacks.

The search resumed at 04:30 BST on Sunday and, as the tide was going out, the bodies of two men were spotted by a search and rescue helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey.

The cliffs at Gogarth Bay are popular with climbers.

The weather conditions were described as "challenging" by one rescuer who said there was a strong wind blowing towards the shore.

Three lifeboat crews took part in the search around both North and South Stack before the bodies were recovered by an RNLI crew from Trearddur Bay lifeboat.

North west Wales coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones adjourned an inquest at Caernarfon until a date to be fixed.

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