Lake District mountain rescue boss sends warning as call-outs surge

  • Richard Warren gives advice following a surge in call-outs.

Mountain rescuers in the Lake District have issued a warning to visitors after a surge in call-outs.

Richard Warren, chairman of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, said the number of call-outs has been causing problems for the search and rescue teams.

Speaking to ITV Border, Mr Warren said: "Well you only have to look at the weather. I think people have just been attracted to the hills and the outdoors which is great but it is bringing problems for the teams."

He explained that June and July have been very busy months throughout Cumbria and that compared to last year they have seen an increase in people needing their help.

He said: "June was very busy, July has been busy as well. Across Cumbria for the 12 teams of volunteers we are on 413 999 call-ins so far.

"We are heading to over 600 by the end of the year. Interestingly though Scafell Pike which is the honeypot for people coming to the Lake District, because it is England’s highest mountain, the Wasdale team handle most of the call-outs and are on 108 for this year. That compares to 75 last year.

"So half of the call-outs that Wasdale do come on Scafell Pike. Over 60% of those are people who are lost or missing. They are the ones we want to really try and encourage to be safe on the mountains."

He also has this advice for anyone who is set to be venturing out to the hills.

He said: "There is lots of advice around and we have really been pushing the adventure smart website, which was developed in North Wales for tourism. It is really good and asks three simple questions.

"One thing that I am pushing is for power banks because if your phone dies then you are in trouble if you need to ring for assistance or if you are lost we need to get in touch with you to find out where you are.

"Power banks plus all the equipment that is recommended is there so people can have a good day."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...