Northern Ireland

Man and six-year-old son 'home safe' after mountain rescue

Slemish mountain Image copyright Northern Ireland Tourist Board
Image caption The pair were rescued as temperatures dropped below freezing on Sunday evening

A man and his six-year-old son have been rescued from Slemish mountain in County Antrim.

A "frantic" call was made to police at about 17:20 GMT on Sunday after the pair became lost and trapped.

They were rescued with the help of 14 North West Mountain Rescue volunteers just after 20:00, when temperatures had fallen to -4 C.

Harnesses were used to guide them to the bottom of the mountain, near Ballymena.

Neither father nor son were injured, but both were shaken by the experience.

Joe Dowdall, team leader, said team had been helped to locate the pair by the light on the man's phone.

'No torch or light'

"They were cold when the team arrived but conditions were windy and there was snow and ice about," said Mr Dowdall

"But they were sound, there were no injuries."

"The team made them comfortable and warmed them up, then got them down the mountain one at a time and made sure they were safe.

"We don't know what conditions were like when they arrived but later on this afternoon the sun did come out and it could be that at that time it looked like an easy enough thing to do.

"We would caution everyone at this time of year, when darkness falls quickly and the weather is prone to change, to really think carefully about going out onto a mountain without proper equipment.

"The weather wasn't the problem but we had no exact location as to where the two people were. They had no torch or light so it took a small amount of time until we pinpointed them.