Mountain teams across Wales see rescue calls rise

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Media captionBrecon Mountain Rescue Team's deputy leader, Mark Jones, said: "Sometimes people just have accidents."

Mountain rescue teams across Wales have seen a 28% increase in the number of calls over the past 12 months.

Six teams had a total rise from 459 calls between August 2014-2015, to 585 in the 12 months to August this year.

North East Wales Search and Rescue Team (NEWSAR) saw the biggest jump, but Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, which covers Snowdonia, received the most calls.

Becky Vaughan, of NEWSAR, said it put a "huge strain" on the team.

North East Wales, Aberglaslyn, Llanberis, Central Beacon, Brecon and Aberdovey search and rescue teams all reported a year-on-year increase to Welsh language news programme Newyddion 9.

Mountain rescue team call-outs

2014-15 to 2015-16

  • Aberdovey 32 to 35

  • Aberglaslyn 50 to 55

  • Brecon 96 to 111

  • Central Beacon 87 to 118

  • Llanberis 157 to 203

  • North East Wales 37 to 63

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Media captionBrecon Mountain Rescue Team save an injured mountain biker
Image copyright Llanberis Mountain Rescue
Image caption Llanberis Mountain Rescue team was called when an RAF helicopter burst into flames on a Snowdonia peak earlier this month

Brecon Mountain Rescue Team recorded its busiest month on record in July, with 23 call-outs for incidents including missing people, injured mountain bikers and unconscious walkers.

The team's deputy leader, Mark Jones, said he believed the spike was linked to more people taking part in outdoor activities.

He said the team, staffed by volunteers, costs £40,000 a year to run based on about 100 calls, so an increase in calls would impact on medical equipment and rescue material supplies.

Ms Vaughan said the rise in call-outs put pressure on teams and the need to raise money to continue their work.

"The increase in calls has also put a strain on us. We don't get paid so we have to go out to work. Many of us work full-time," she said.

"We have families and we have to leave the family to help people. Also, if the number of calls increases, we have to raise more money to help other people.

"So we have to go out on Sunday to raise money in a fair at St Asaph so that we can continue."

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