Mountain Rescue teams in England and Wales are experiencing a marked increase in callouts following the relaxation of lockdown regulations.
“Across England and Wales we’ve seen callout numbers increase to higher than normal levels for this time of year,” said Mike France, SEO (Senior Executive Officer) of MREW. “It seems there’s been a rush to the hills with people who would normally have taken their holidays abroad venturing into the countryside with very little experience, knowledge or the right equipment.
“This has resulted in a massive strain on teams with members who have recently gone back to work now having to abandon their jobs, where they can, to attend to people who, perhaps, should have taken a little more care over their preparation than they have done.”
Callout numbers for the year to 10th August are running at 1454, an overall decrease against last year’s figures but disappointingly high given that the country was in lockdown for three of those months.
In the last three weeks teams have attended 233 callouts ranging from searches for missing people to recovering casualties following accidents, the busiest regions being north and south Wales, the Peak District and the Lake District.
Mountain rescuers have played an important role in spreading the #BeAdventureSmart messages. These focus on planning ahead for forecast weather conditions, wearing and carrying the right clothing and equipment and having the skills and expertise for a planned route.
Mike added: “Every single callout we attend puts our members at risk of contracting Covid-19 from those we rescue. We would urge those people going into the outdoors to ensure that they are properly equipped and prepared for the conditions they’re placing themselves in, not just for their own sake but for the sake of our rescuers and their families who may be adversely affected further down the line”.