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Technology helps keep rescuers safe

July 20, 2020

Shortly after 8:00 p.m. on Sat 18th July, call handlers from Aberdyfi Search & Rescue Team were made aware of two walkers lost on Cader Idris.

The two women, in their early 20’s and from the Midlands, had started out from Minffordd but somewhere on the summit plateau their map was lost. They consequently took a wrong turning, and ended up coming down Foxes Path. The Phonefind protocol was used to locate the pair via their smartphone and verbal description was given to get them onto the main Foxes path. They were encouraged to keep clicking the link to help call handlers monitor their progress while a couple of Team volunteers climbed up from Gwernan Lake hotel to meet them and escort them down. 

High water levels in the Llyn Gafr outflow and other streams pushed the walkers off course just as they were about to meet with the rescuers heading up hill. Fortunately, the updated Phonefind location alerted handlers to this issue and a texted request to hold position was sent as the rescuers were directed to locate them.

Team volunteer Graham O’Hanlon was involved in the rescue. “As part of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we try to deploy the smallest team with which we can achieve the rescue. The situation was greatly assisted by use of the Phonefind protocol, which enabled us to monitor progress remotely, and keep rescuer numbers to the minimum. It also enabled us to act quickly when the situation changed. The rescue would have become significantly more complex had the parties missed each other on the hill.”

Everyone was safely off the mountain by 10:00 p.m.