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Missing woman spent night on Ronas Hill

The relief Aith lifeboat 17-33 Beth Sell joined Thursday night's search for the missing woman while the main lifeboat is on refit. Photo Ian Leask

THE WOMAN who sparked a major air, sea and land search in Shetland’s north mainland on Thursday spent the night on Ronas Hill, police have revealed.

The 61 year old experienced hiker had told friends she intended to visit the tidal island of Uyea, in Northmavine, when she set off at 5pm on Thursday.

However when she failed to return at 9pm, the emergency services were alerted.

The coastguard rescue helicopter, the Aith lifeboat and five auxiliary cliff rescue teams from North Roe, Hillswick, Sullom Voe, Lerwick and Walls as well as police officers spent five hours searching the area before fog forced them to stand down at 2am.

The search recommenced at 9am on Friday morning for two hours before the woman was located safe and well on Ronas Hill just before 11am.

The police said a coordinated search was carried out on Ronas Hill “assisted by sighting(s) from members of the public”.

In a statement on Friday evening, they said: “Shortly before 11 am, this morning a 61 year old female was located on Ronas Hill and walked to safety.

“Having become lost the previous evening in the descending fog she had spent the night on the hill and fortunately had suffered no ill effects and did not require any medical assistance.

“Walkers and people out enjoying the countryside and coastline are reminded to be mindful of the fast changing weather conditions on Shetland and ensure they always take appropriate clothing, food/water, mobile phone and always tell someone of your plans and where you are going.”