CAVE rescue volunteers, a search dog, and police were involved in a search for a ‘three peaks’ walker who it turned out had returned home, some 60 miles away and had been unable to let them know, because her phone had died.

A Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO) team went into action at just after 9pm on Saturday after the woman made a 999 call to police to say her fellow walker had fallen on the way down from Ingleborough and had injured herself.

Before the caller could pass on any more information, the call went dead and police were unable to reconnect. All that was known was that the call had been made in the area of Simon Fell Breast, on the descent from Ingleborough towards Horton in Ribblesdale.

CRO team members started a search of the area, and when no one was found, they extended their search to include all other routes off the peak.

A CRO spokesperson said: “With a developing suspicion that there was no-one to find, the duty controller prevailed upon North Yorkshire Police to try to find a name and address for the phone number used, with a view to then connecting that with a vehicle type and registration mark, in case this helped determine a start point or absence from the area.

“The search continued and permission was granted for a police helicopter to be deployed, at first light. Then, at 2.30am police called to say that the missing persons’ home police force had found the caller almost 60 miles away, having arrived home a little after 1am. Team members and Kez the search dog, stood down, still wondering how someone who was injured had ‘evaded’ them and failed to tell police that the emergency was over; they were safe.

“The ‘mystery’ was solved, to some extent, the following morning, when a CRO controller who had stayed at home during the evening, phoning and texting the missing person’s number, woke to find the following text had been left on his phone at about 2.30am: "My phone died before I could complete the call. My friend sprained her ankle but I managed to carry her down and we sought help in Clapham. We have only just arrived home. Thank you for your help.”