Scotland

Tributes to 'lovely lady' Isobel after Highland lightning strike

Isobel Bytautas Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Isobel Bytautas had been walking with a group when she was struck by lightning

Tributes to a keen hillwalker who died after being struck by lightning on a Highland mountain range have described her as a "lovely, caring lady".

Isobel Bytautas, 55, died from her injuries after the strike while walking on Na Gruagaichean, south of Ben Nevis, on Saturday.

Another woman who was also struck was airlifted to Belford Hospital in Fort William. She is in a stable condition.

Mrs Bytautas, from Selkirk, was walking with a group from Linlithgow Ramblers.

The chairman of the rambling group, John Allen, passed on his condolences to Mrs Bytautas's family as he paid tribute to the keen walker.

'Like you'd known her forever'

He said: "Linlithgow Ramblers are shocked and saddened by the death of Isobel on Saturday but first and foremost our thoughts go out to Isobel's family at this hugely difficult time.

"Our thoughts are also with the other members of the group, who are all now home safely having endured something no one wishes to experience."

Mrs Bytautus joined the group in April of 2017, with her first outing a munro in Glen Etive called Beinn nan Aighenan.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Na Gruagaichean is in the Mamores mountain range

Mr Allen added: "Isobel was attracted to the Linlithgow group by their walk programme which included a good number of munros.

"From that very first occasion, Isobel just fitted in so easily no matter who and the size of the group. Isobel was a lovely lady and great company out on the hills. She was always ready to chat away like you had known her forever."

'Keep her memory alive on the hills'

He said Mrs Bytautus had become well known within the group, joining them on weekends away.

Mr Allen said she was always keen for an adventure.

He said: "She had a passion for walking in the hills and walking in new places. Isobel was a very caring person and it has been a privilege to have walked with her."

Mr Allen said the group would feel her loss for a long time and that the best way they could honour their friend was "to keep the memories of her alive beside us when out in the hills".

Adding to the tributes, Tompion Platt from the Ramblers organisation said: "We are all deeply shocked to hear this tragic news.

"Our thoughts and sincerest condolences are with Isobel's family and friends - and with those of the other injured walker and Linlithgow group.

"Our focus now is on supporting those involved in any way we can."

The incident was described by rescuers on Sunday as a "freak accident".

Police, a coastguard helicopter, Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team and Scotland's Air Ambulance service all joined the rescue effort.

The mountain rescue team of 14 was called out to the incident just before 18:00.

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