Former Norfolk police sergeant dies in Scottish avalanche tragedy

The Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter which tried to help David Bankart. Pic: Andrew Milligan/

The Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter which tried to help David Bankart. Pic: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Tributes were today paid to a retired Norfolk police sergeant who died after being caught in an avalanche while climbing in the Scottish Highlands.

Adrian David Bankart, known as Dave, was climbing with a companion on Creag Meagaidh, a mountain range in Lochaber, when an avalanche happened on Wednesday afternoon.

The 54-year-old, who retired to Derbyshire after a career with Norfolk police which included stints in King's Lynn and with the roads policing unit at Swaffham, was airlifted from the mountain but later died in hospital.

Mr Bankart was rescued with a second climber, who remains in a serious but stable condition in Belford Hospital in Fort William.

A Police Scotland statement said: 'The family of Mr Bankart would seek this opportunity to extend their gratitude to all emergency services and mountain rescue personnel who were involved in the incident.'

Sgt Peter Howlett, from Norfolk police, had worked with Mr Bankart from 2002 until his retirement about four years ago and paid tribute to his friend. He said: 'He was the sort of person you looked up to as an exemplary professional. He always enjoyed the outdoor life – hill and mountain walking and climbing.

'I went climbing in the Lake District with him a couple of times and it was something which he loved to do.

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'I just can't believe what has happened. It's just so sudden and my thoughts go out to his family.'

On Twitter, Dan Woods (@woodsey_5) posted: 'Terrible news such a warm hearted lovely man please pass on my condolences he was a great help to me back in the day'.

Do you want to pay tribute to Mr Bankart? Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk