EXCLUSIVE – Pictured: Female British teacher, 55, who fell 100ft to her death while walking ‘difficult route’ in the Italian Dolomites after taking a wrong turn with her partner
- Louise Atkinson, 55, had been hiking in Rosengarten massif in the Dolomites
- The teacher from Ripon was hiking with her partner John Dickinson, 58
- She suddenly lost her balance and plunged down from a height of 98 feet
A British woman who died after falling 100ft while walking in the Italian Dolomites with her partner was named today as teacher Louise Atkinson.
Ms Atkinson plunged to her death after taking the wrong route, it emerged.
She was a keen runner, trained regularly and was a familiar figure around the streets of Ripon where she would go jogging and cycling.
Ms Atkinson, 55, was with her partner John Dickinson, 58, who runs a car valet farm, when the tragedy happened on Sunday after they ended up on a high altitude via Ferrara cable way.
The experienced route requires clipping on with carabiners which the couple did not have and should only be tackled by those who have correct equipment.
A British woman who died after falling 100ft while walking in the Italian Dolomites with her partner was named today as teacher Louise Atkinson (pictured)
A series of ladders, cables and walkways through narrow gulleys leads to the 2700m summit on the Catinaccio mountain near Bolzano in northern Italy.
The couple had left their hotel at nearby Castelrotto for the hike but had ended up on a more difficult route by the early afternoon which eventually led to the tragedy.
A mountain rescue spokesman told MailOnline: ‘The couple, who were not married, were on a hike on Sunday when they took a wrong turning and ended up on a more challenging route.
‘It involved a Via Ferrata cableway, and they did not have the correct equipment so when they realised it was harder, they turned back.
‘On the way down and just before re-joining the correct route the British lady slipped and fell around 35 metres.
‘She suffered fatal injuries and was already deceased by the time the helicopter arrived at the scene.
‘Her partner and others who had seen what happened raised the alarm but there was nothing that could be done.’
The 55-year-old woman and her partner had been hiking in the Rosengarten massif in the Dolomites in northern Italy when she suddenly lost her balance. Pictured: Santner via ferrata, Catinaccio in South Tyrol in Italy
He added: ‘The woman’s children who we believe are from a previous relationship have arrived to formally identify the body and once the all clear has been given by the local prosecutor she will be repatriated back to Britain.
‘The route they ended up on was much higher and more difficult than they were used to and that is what led to the accident.’
Ms Atkinson was a teacher from Ripon, North Yorkshire, and was also a runner while her partner runs a car valeting firm.
The route the couple ended up on is the Via Santner and it is described in guide books as ‘challenging’ and takes around five hours to complete.
Originally built in the First World War by Austro-Hungarian soldiers and their Italian enemies, they used ladders fixed to the mountain sides as well as cables and ropes and they system was used to transport weapons, ammunition and food to high altitude positions.
Ms Atkinson and her partner had arrived last week and were staying in a £150 a night hotel at nearby Castelrotto where staff declined to put talk about the couple.
Neighbours said Louise was ‘very active’.
Her partner runs JD Supplies LTD, which supplies cleaning equipment.
Her body was retrieved by a mountain rescue team and flown away by helicopter. Pictured: Santner via ferrata, Catinaccio in South Tyrol in Italy
‘Louise looked good for her age because she was always exercising. Her and John would go running together most days’ said a neighbour.
‘It is dreadful shock. She was a teacher and only broke up last week. They left for their holidays at the weekend.
‘She loved teaching and the pupils are going to be sad when they find out Miss Atkinson has died.’
Another resident said: ‘It is such a shock. I only spoke to her the day before she went on holiday and she was really looking forward to the adventure.
‘She was super fit and loved her running.
‘John and Louise would go running and cycling together.’
It comes just three weeks after the body of another 56-year-old British tourist was found at the bottom of a cliff in Italy after he went missing for two days.
Gerard Christopher Turner was with his family in Lezzono, Lake Como, near the Alps in northern Italy when he decided to go for a walk in the mountains behind the village where he and his family were staying.
He left at approximately 2:30pm on June 30, going alone and leaving his family in the hotel.
Turner made a call to his wife a couple of hours later, warning her that he was going to be late, according to Il Giorno.
But that was the last time she would ever hear from him, as hours went by without the tourist returning.
File photo: The body of a 56-year-old Gerard Christopher Turner was discovered after he went for a walk alone in the north Italian mountains
A search party of over 50 men searched the mountains, including volunteers and technicians of the XIX Delegation of the Alpine Rescue, firefighters, Civil Protection and Carabinieri.
They were searching in the area of Carvagnana, between Nesso and Pognana Lario, where the man’s mobile phone had last been reachable. The fire brigade also brought in canine units from Piedmont to help with the search.
Eventually, Italian police called in a helicopter to use a thermoscanner to try to locate Turner, without any luck.
It was only when the fire brigade deployed drones around the area that they located Turney’s body at the bottom of a cliff in an inaccessible area.
And just three days ago a ‘hero’ British sales executive who dived into Lake Garda to save his son is feared to have died.
Sales director Aran Chada, 51, was with his partner Holly Mosley, 39, and their two children – a 14-year old boy and a girl aged seven – on a boat trip to northern Italy
Limone sul Garda, a picturesque lakeside town in northern Italy, was the scene of the accident
Aran Chada, 51, his partner Holly Mosley, 39, and their two children – son Roman, 14, and daughter Floren, seven – had rented a boat on the lake in northern Italy when tragedy struck.
Mr Chada dived in when he saw Roman struggling while swimming. He managed to push the boy back to the boat but then disappeared under the water. Searches were continuing last night, with the diving unit of the Coast Guard of Genoa expected to join efforts today.
Rescuers said Mr Chada may have suffered a seizure in the cold water. Temperatures at the time of the incident on Friday afternoon were around 38C (100F) but the water was considerably colder.
The family were about 200 yards from the shore near the town of Limone when Mr Chada vanished.
Miss Mosley called emergency services when her husband did not resurface. Witnesses also called for help after hearing her screams. Three coastguard boats as well as helicopters from the local firefighting and ambulance services were dispatched to the scene.
Divers and a robot submarine were also sent to the lake, which is 650ft deep in some places.