Mountain rescue 'wastes hours' searching for family

Mountain rescue volunteers wasted hours searching for a family who called for help, saying they were stuck at the peak of England's highest mountain - but who then climbed down unaided.

A man called Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team to ask for help, saying he, his wife and his son were trapped on Scafell Pike in the Lake District.

The family were hiking at the Lake District when they got into difficulties Credit: PA

With weather conditions getting worse and the family not answering their phone, the rescue team began to comb the mountainside for the trio to bring them back down to safety.

Eventually, the family answered the phone at around 9.40pm - more than six hours after the first call - and told rescuers they had managed to climb down after all, and "didn't realise" they should notify the emergency services.

A spokeswoman for Cumbria Police urged walkers to only call for help if it is needed - and cancel it if it becomes no longer necessary.

By not informing us there is a drain on resources and potentially could hinder someone who does need urgent help. All we request is for people to be considerate.

– Cumbria Police spokeswoman