Travel firm probe launched after Gran Canaria Briton deaths of two Britons

by Alfie FEATHERSTONE on May 15, 2012

A travel firm and regular organiser of guided walks around Gran Canaria is currently investigating after the death of a 78-year-old female during a hill walk in temperatures nearing 40C.

Wendy Richardson, aged 78, suffered from a suspected heart attack just 40 minutes into a guided tour on Sunday and a matter of days after certain areas of the Canary Islands had to be issued with heatwave warnings. A further two women aged in their 60s were on the same trek, which was meant to last two hours, and had to be airlifted to hospital.

The victims were being lead by a guide employed by specialist tour firm HF Holidays, which is based in Hertfordshire. They were collectively participating in a walk to Presa del Salto del Perro’s reservoir in the southern reaches of Gran Canaria.

Earlier, an orange weather alert advised people to make sure that they avoided strenuous exercise throughout the high temperatures. Separately, another Brit, Mr Willoughby Chaffey, aged 74 years old, had been hiking on the popular Spanish holiday at the weekend when he reportedly fell to his death in a ravine whilst trekking with his wife near the northern town of Barranco de Azuaje.

In recent days, temperatures have been hitting 40C in some parts of the Canaries with the authorities having to issue weather warnings at various points of last week. Representing HF Holidays, a spokesman commented that the company is conducting its own investigations as it attempts to ascertain further information.

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