Mountain search launched for former Aldenham School teacher

PUBLISHED: 16:22 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 12:57 06 May 2010

A BIG search was underway for a former teacher who disappeared while exploring South Africa s highest mountain range. Michael Hetherington, aged 73, who was a housemaster at Aldenham School near Radlett for more than 30 years, was last seen on Saturday lo

A BIG search was underway for a former teacher who disappeared while exploring South Africa's highest mountain range.

Michael Hetherington, aged 73, who was a housemaster at Aldenham School near Radlett for more than 30 years, was last seen on Saturday looking for directions to Cathedral Peak in the Drakensberg Mountains in Kwazulu-Natal.

The classics teacher, who lived at the school during term time, had his own house in Lossiemouth, Scotland where he moved on retirement.

A spokesperson at the school said: "He was a bachelor and I don't think he had any family round here or in Scotland."

Mr Hetherington checked into the Didima Camp on Friday and his car was found in the car park of the Cathedral Park Hotel.

A search team was called when it became apparent that Mr Hetherington had not returned to the camp.

A rescue organiser said of Cathedral Peak, which is two-and-a-half hours from Durban: "It's very steep. It's not for the fainthearted. It's more like a scramble than a walk."

A search-and-rescue operation involving mountain rescue teams, local police, search dogs and a small helicopter has been launched in the popular tourist spot.

The police air wing was deployed on an aerial search of the area while a 12-man mountain rescue team was searching on foot.

Mr Hetherington is believed to be an experienced climber and walker.

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