Boy, 17, fell 1,000ft to his death after wandering from group

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The Independent Online

A student fell to his death after he wandered off from his group during a mountain trek in Spain, an inquest heard yesterday.

Andrew Lucas, 17, from Louth, Lincolnshire, was on an expedition in the Picos de Europa mountain range in July last year when he plunged 1,000ft to his death. An inquest at Skegness magistrates' court heard the trip, organised by the Brathay Exploration Group, originally failed to get approval because it did not have leaders with the right qualifications, and there were concerns over familiarity with the location. The trip was later approved after an experienced leader joined the group.

The leader, Miles Doughty, told the inquest they had set up camp at the Refugio Collado Jermoso. After a meal the group decided to watch the sunset from a viewing point but Andrew was not in his tent. They assumed he was using the toilet.

A group of Spanish tourists showed them a photograph of what they thought was a woman who had fallen down the sheer drop, but it was only when they got back to their tents to find Andrew missing that the alarm was raised. Members from the refuge found his body where it had fallen around 1,000ft. The inquest heard Andrew died of multiple trauma, consistent with a fall.

The inquest continues.