At lunchtime on Friday (3/3), the Buxton Team was called to Edale, following a telephone call to the police from a lone hill walker reporting himself lost on Kinder Scout. The weather at this time was very poor with substantial rain falling on an already sodden moor, swelling streams into torrents and low cloud reducing visibility to a few metres, and deep snow lying in groughs and across footpaths, hampering progress.
The Duty Incident Controller was able to contact the lone walker and plot his position as the Woolpacks, by using smart phone technology which interrogates the missing persons mobile phone GPS facility. Team members quickly climbed onto the moor and approached the area from two different directions.
The lone walker was on the first day of the Pennine Way long distance route, he was well equipped and carrying an emergency whistle. Whilst he was waiting for the team to arrive, another two walkers, from the Manchester area had heard his whistle blasts and went to his location, they too were lost and all three decided to stay together until help arrived. Another lost walker turned up, a lady on holiday in the Peak District from Brazil. All four had set off from Edale at different times on Friday morning and decided to stay together until the team arrived. On arrival team members quickly assessed each of the lost walkers and then guided them off the moor via Jacobs Ladder to Edale.
Roger Bennett, Senior Team Member said “ This was another example of people using mobile phones for navigation and underestimating the seriousness of our local hills and weather conditions. We urge everyone to carry a map and compass, torch and whistle on every visit to the moors. Technical navigational gadgets can lose signal or suffer flat batteries, so know how to read a map and use a compass properly. Your life may depend on it.”