The family of a man stranded in Nepal say they want to see him home and safe as soon as possible following the country’s devastating earthquake.
For Marcus Irving, tackling Mount Everest to celebrate his 40th birthday was the trip of a lifetime and after a year of intensive training, he couldn’t wait to embark on the mammoth journey.
He set off on April 21, but is now stranded in a village en route to Everest with his companions after getting caught up in the aftermath of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.
The disaster is thought to have claimed more than 5,000 lives and Mr Irving’s family have spoken of their relief he is safe.
Mr Irving’s wife, Lisa, 40, of Bath Place, Boothtown, said: “I got a text saying ‘just having a brownie and a coffee and while I’m writing this there’s been an earthquake’.
“That was it, so I was thinking ‘really?’ and then we started to see it on television.
“When I saw the devastation, I was thankful he was alive. It could have been a lot worse and then you feel sorry for the people who haven’t been lucky and then you think ‘thank God you weren’t on Everest’.
“He would have been there next week and if it had hit then, he definitely would have been at base camp.
“There was absolute relief when we knew he was safe, but then we started thinking when is he going to get home? How is he going to get home? Is he going to run out of food and water? Can aid get to where they are?”
The 39-year-old father-of-three works as a senior instructor at Mixenden Activity Centre and had planned to spend his birthday at base camp. Now, his family say they are just waiting for more information.
“He can’t ring because there’s no signal, just texts as and when he can, but it’s really intermittent. We have no idea when he is going to be able to come back.
“We are taking each day as it comes, but it’s playing on my mind. I’ve not been sleeping at night because of the worry. The Foreign Office do know where he is and he’s contacted them, but we just want him home and safe now as soon as we can, whenever that might be.”
Mr Irving’s father, Bill Irving, 67, of Holmfield, added: “We’re lucky we had good news. A lot of people didn’t.
“We’re all waiting for him to come home and I’ll be elated to see him back.”
Britain has pledged a £15m aid package to Nepal, £5m of which includes a 30-strong medical team carrying equipment including medical supplies and bandages, a generator and tents.
Anyone caught up in the incident or worried about a loved one should call the Foreign Office on +44 (0) 207 008 0000.