Cumbria's mountain rescue teams use drones to boost search efforts

2018 was the busiest year on record for the region's mountain rescue teams. Credit: Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team

Twelve mountain rescue teams in the the Lake District are now looking into more modern ways to find people on the fells in need of assistance.

Volunteers are learning how to operate drones in hope of boosting search efforts in 'accident blackspots' where searching is both time-consuming and dangerous.

2019 saw a record number of call-outs; the region's mountain rescue teams and specialist units dealt with 654 emergency calls.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team says many were 'truly avoidable'.

They say people are taking to the Cumbrian fells without being properly prepared for the terrain and weather conditions.

Across the county, there are over 400-volunteers on-call 24-hours a day to respond to emergencies.

They hope the use of drones will boost search efforts.

Formal training, registration, certification and landowner consent are just a few of the hurdles that are required of the rescue teams to use a drone.

Wasdale MRT wants 2019 to be the year of reducing avoidable call-outs by 'getting the safety and awareness messages out there.'