Lake District rescue teams spent most of last night searching the fells in two separate incidents.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) was called out at 11.30pm to search for a party of teenagers who had phoned to say they were lost on Scafell Pike. The five young walkers were quickly found and near the base of the fell.

Richard Warren, chairman of the Wasdale MRT, said: “They were transported back to their accommodation near Bothel in one of the team’s vehicles, rather disappointed that they had not been picked up by a helicopter.”

The Wasdale team was joined by members of the Duddon and Furness MRT and the Lake District Search and Rescue Dogs Association. Mr Warren said the weather was ‘Difficult, to say the least,’ with torrential rain and thick cloud down to low levels, both of which had been accurately forecast.

Members from the three organisations were then diverted to help their Keswick colleagues in conducting a long search for two walkers who were overdue back at their base. After a long search, they were located at 3.30am, cold, wet and tired but otherwise uninjured, in Upper Eskdale and helped to the road, from where they were taken in one of the Keswick team’s vehicles to their hotel.

Although the two rescues had happy endings, the incidents confirm recent statements by mountain rescue representatives that they face an increasing number of call-outs to walkers who are lost on the fells, rather than injured or ill.

MRT members have called for hillwalkers to be better prepared in navigation to avoid getting lost in poor visibility and bad weather.

35 volunteer rescuers were involved in last night’s search, which lasted a total of seven hours.

  • Langdale and Ambleside MRT treated a climber with serious injuries on Gimmer Crag in Great Langdale at the weekend.

The man, from east Yorkshire, was flown by Royal Navy helicopter to hospital in Newcastle after suffering a suspected fractured skull, spinal and facial injuries in a fall. The team was called out around 11am on Saturday and treated the climber at the scene.

The Langdale team also went to the assistance of a 60-year-old man who collapsed with abdominal pain on Dollywaggon Pike in the Helvellyn range. Patterdale MRT also attended the man, who was flown by the Great North Air Ambulance to hospital in Carlisle.

The following day, three women also phoned the mountain rescue service in two separate incidents to say they were lost. Two were found by as darkness fell by Patterdale MRT after becoming disoriented on Fairfield and another single walker was escorted off Crinkle Crags in Great Langdale after getting lost in low cloud at 7.45pm. None of the women had torches.

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