Freak snowfalls are hampering the search in northern Vietnam for missing botanist Jamie Taggart.
Search parties were forced off the hills by torrential rain on Friday and now – very unusually – the area has been hit by snow, an inch deep in the town of Sapa but a foot in depth at higher altitude.
Jamie, of Linn Gardens in Cove, disappeared on November 1 while on a plant-hunting expedition.
Ian Sinclair, who is liaising with the search team led by ex-pat Phil Hoolihan, said the snow was expected to melt fairly quickly but it was not improving conditions on mountain tracks.
He said Phil had been up to the point where Jamie was dropped off by a motorcycle, and roadside traders there had positively identified Jamie and confirmed the direction he was heading in.
A meeting is being arranged with Mr Hao, the vice-director of the National Park Authorities.
“Amazingly, though possibly not surprisingly, Jamie being missing was news to him!” said Ian.
“This meeting is to involve greatly expanding the search party and involve the forest rangers and botanical workers.”
The Friends of Linn Gardens have appealed for funding to help the search – details are in the story here.