Lake District records 'significantly' more mountain rescues

Helicopter over Helvellyn Image copyright Patterdale Mountain Recue Team
Image caption Mountain rescue teams in the county are staffed by 435 volunteers

Mountain rescue teams in the Lake District say they have had their busiest year on record.

The 12 volunteer teams dealt with 654 emergency call-outs in 2018, compared with 627 the previous year.

Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association chairman Richard Warren said volunteers had answered a "significantly bigger" number of 999 calls than in previous years.

"It's a growing trend and it's a worrying trend," he said.

Call-outs by the ambulance service and police have risen from 474 in 2014, which was itself a rise of 10% on the 2013 figures.

Image copyright Khrizmo/Getty Images
Image caption Mountain rescue teams dealt with 21 fatalities on mountains in the Lake District last year

A "big cause for concern" was the 180 avoidable call-outs last year, Mr Warren said.

People got lost "mainly due to no preparation or little preparation, no understanding of navigation, no map, compass, torch", he said.

The county's mountain rescue teams are staffed by 435 volunteers.

"We'll always go out for people who need us but we're desperately trying to reduce those avoidables, that's the big challenge for this year," Mr Warren said.

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