Safety on the Mountains – Don’t Exceed your Limits
June 22, 2020
The leaders of the twelve Lake District Mountain Rescue teams would like to remind people coming into the Lake District to be responsible when venturing onto the fells. The numbers of callouts over the past week has increased dramatically with 17 compared to none the previous week. We are now on day 100+ since the 23 March lockdown and the picture for the forthcoming months is starting to look grim. Although only 38 callouts since the end of March (28 injuries, 1 Medical, 7 searches and 2 others) compared to 141 in 2019, nearly half of these incidents occurred within the last 7 days.
What can you personally do to keep rescues to a minimum and help our volunteer teams? The message is very clear. Getting onto the fells for healthy exercise is really good but you must know your limits. Keep within those limits and avoid taking risks. Know your own level of skill, competence and experience and those of your group. Make sure you have the right equipment for your trip to the hills and valleys noting that many of our callouts are low down in the valley bottoms. Learn how to navigate, don’t rely on smart phone technology it can let you down. Take a torch, even on the longest days, you never know when your activity will catch you out or you go to the help of a fallen, cragfast or lost walker.
The way teams operate has also changed with very robust Covid-19 procedures for pro- tecting both our casualties and our own volunteers. This is because our casualties and team members may in fact have the virus but not yet show the symptoms (asymptomatic). Our procedures include the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE), maintaining social distancing where possible and decontamination processes at the end of the rescue. All this inevitably slows down the rescue. This is unfortunately unavoidable and we ask for your patience and understanding if you are unfortunate in having an accident or medical emergency. We will come to your aid but it will take longer than usual. However, becoming lost or overdue is totally avoidable. There is guidance provided below to help avoid having to call out the teams.
Finally be considerate to the local communities, take your litter home and keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles and farm traffic. Parking vehicles in passing places or on grass verges blocking field entrances is irresponsible and can seriously compromise res- cues.
There is good and essential safety advice on the website Adventure Smart UK So Stay Safe: #BeAdventureSmart make your good day better https://www.adventuresmart.uk/