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Mountain search for 'safe' family

Mountain rescue volunteers spent hours needlessly searching for a family who had called for help when they were stuck up England's highest mountain.

Members of Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team responded to the call at about 3pm on Sunday from a man who said he, his wife and their son could not get down Scafell Pike in the Lake District.

Weather conditions were deteriorating as the search got under way with continued unsuccessful attempts to contact the family on their mobile phone.

Eventually the family answered their phone at about 9.40pm and told rescuers they had managed to get to safety themselves and did not realise they needed to notify the mountain rescue team or police.

A spokeswoman for Cumbria Constabulary said: "It is vital if people have contacted any emergency service that they notify us if they are able to get to a safe place by themselves. Until we know those people are safe, then search teams will continuing looking until they are found.

"By not informing us there is a drain on resources and potentially could hinder someone who does need urgent help. All we request is for people to be considerate."

In a statement, Wasdale Mountain Rescue said: "We are a voluntary organisation with limited resources and while we will do all we can for genuine emergencies, we would ask people to do what they can to get themselves safely up and down the fells.

"This would include being prepared for the weather conditions, carrying a map and compass, and knowing how to use them. There is lots of information and advice on the internet which could be of use before walking on the fells."


From Belfast Telegraph