British father and 12-year-old son found dead in Alps named
A British man and his 12-year-old son found dead in the French Alps have been named.
Peter and Charlie Saunders had been hiking in the snow on Mont Blanc when it is understood Charlie plummeted several hundred metres down a cliff.
It seems his 48-year-old father then phoned for help before he also fell.
A statement, issued by the Foreign Office on behalf of the Saunders family, said the pair had flown to the French Alps for a “short weekend of adventure”. They were to have had a half-day walking followed by a full day skiing.
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“Charlie was always full of life, had a really happy temperament and loved spending time with his father,” the statement read.
“Peter was fantastic at making things happen, resourceful, with a positive approach to life. They will both be sorely missed by friends and family alike.”
Mr Saunders was thought to have made a call by mobile phone to the Mountain Police Squad at Annecy on Saturday afternoon, saying his son had fallen and he could no longer see him.
But he was cut off and rescue teams following up the call were unable to locate the pair.
Rescuers had to launch their search with little information about the father and son’s location.
It is thought the pair had sent photos of themselves on the hike to their family, which French police used to identify where they must have been.
A helicopter spotted their bodies on Sunday morning at an altitude of 1,600m during the fourth aerial search.
The father and son had embarked on a popular summer hike known as Le Couloir des Bossons near Mont Blanc - Europe's highest peak.
Police in France described the trail as very steep, with rocky, slippery parts to it.
It is not recommended in winter – according to reports, 10 off-piste skiers and mountaineers had been killed in the area this month.
On average around 100 people a year die in similar tragedies in the Mont Blanc area, the Daily Mail reports.
The Saunders family thanked the French rescue services "for all their efforts".