Experienced hikers needed to search for missing man in Argyll

Neil Skinner went missing while camping ten months ago.

Neil Skinner: Experienced hikers needed in search for missing man in Argyll Contributed

The family of a man who has been missing in Argyll for ten months are appealing for experienced hikers to help find him. 

Neil Skinner was last seen on Sunday, May 8, 2022 while camping in the Bridge of Orchy area. 

Friends found his tent and trekking poles the following day, but there has been no sign of the 71-year-old since. 

In a bid to try and find him, his family is now planning an extensive search of the area between May 27-29.

“We’re wanting to try and find new areas,” Neil’s daughter Kate Armitage said. 

“Had dad gone further than we ever imagined? He hasn’t got the best sense of direction and he has been known to get lost.

“It’s just looming over me every day of my life, this huge question mark and I can’t move forward properly with my life without knowing what’s happened to my dad.”

Neil Skinner, 71, is missing from Bridge of Orchy area.Police Scotland

The hike is being organised with the help of underwater sonar search and recovery dive team, Beneath The Surface.  

It is looking for experienced hikers to volunteer to take part in all of, or some of the search, which will involve hiking and camping in the area of Loch Dochard. 

Neil’s family will also be putting up posters on the route as well as placing a memorial plaque near where he was last seen.  

“To me, there’s got to be an answer – somebody doesn’t just disappear. He is somewhere, something has happened to him,” Kate said. 

Mr Skinner was captured on CCTV on May 7, 2022 at the Green Welly Stop in Tyndrum.

He and his friends then parked their car at Victoria Bridge before hiking six miles to the banks of Loch Dochard, where they camped for the night. 

Map shows journey taken by missing man Neil Skinner.STV News

The next day, they set off for Loch Etive, but about 90 minutes later, he turned back for the campsite because the hike was too much for him. 

“It’s a huge mystery and definitely we don’t believe he had planned to leave his tent for a time, something has happened”, Kate says. 

Those interested in volunteering to take part in the search are urged to join this Facebook group.

Police Scotland said anyone with information could contact them on 101, quoting reference 3775 of May 9.

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