|Shepherd's Bush Resident Dan Hunt Lost in Alps|
Friends launch appeal to pay for search and rescue mission
Fears are growing for the safety of Shepherd's Bush residents Dan Hunt, who went missing during a trip to the Swiss Alps.
Dan, 33, who owns an organic shop in Turnham Green Terrace in Chiswick disappeared on Saturday after setting off with two friends taking part in the sport known as ‘speed flying’. The alarm was raised when Dan failed to arrive at the agreed landing site in the Lauterbrunnen mountain area, a favourite with fans of the extreme sport.
Now his friends have launched an appeal to pay for a search and rescue mission, and need to raise £6,000 to pay for dog teams to find his trail.
Speed flying involves skiing with a fast, fabric wing down a steep mountain slope at speeds of up to 75mph. It combines paragliding with skiing and is described as "the ultimate mountain high".
Friends of Mr. Hunt, who lives in Shepherd’s Bush, have already raised £ 3,000, half of the money needed to pay for a search and rescue operation in the Bern canton of Switzerland.
It is understood that his insurance company will not pay out any more and there is a race against the clock to find him in the freezing conditions.
The search need £6,000 to pay for dog teams to go up the mountain to try to find his trail. They have already collected £3,000 as people responded quickly to the appeal, as he is very popular in the extreme sports community.
His family and friends are shocked at his disappearance as they say he has a good deal of experience in the sport. Dan, a former resident of Chiswick, has run the Turnham Green Wholefoods Shop for about eight years.
A close friend of Dan's in Chiswick, former neighbour Tess Riley said;
"Dan is a central part of what makes Chiswick so special and we need to do everything we can to get him back here safe and sound asap.
I'm encouraging everyone I know to donate a day's wages to the search and it would be wonderful to think that all Dan's fellow shop-owners on Turnham Green Terrace would donate a day's profits to get Dan home."
Some of his friends are considering travelling to Switzerland to help with the search.
One of his best friends Pedro Pimentel, 33, said: "I met him through extreme sports, we have done a lot together of the years.
"I am considering going going to Switzerland. It's quite surprising that he has gone missing, he is experienced, I think he could still be alive."
Friend Laura Saunders, 26, a photographer, said: “Daniel is such a lovely guy, everyone respects him and he is well known in the extreme sports community.
“You could not meet anyone kinder and everyone he meets likes him. He is very experienced in extreme sports so it’s very worrying and surprising that he is missing.
“We know that finding him quickly is vital because the longer a search takes the less chance there is of a good outcome.”
His friends have set up a Twitter account and Facebook page to appeal for funds.
September 18, 2012