Rescuers in action during the Scafell Pike incident

Rescuers in action during the Scafell Pike incident

Rescuers used a couple’s smartphone position to find them on England’s highest mountain in atrocious weather.

The man and woman, in their late 20s, got lost on Scafell Pike yesterday in bad visibility and rang police for help on their mobile phone.

Members of Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team were able to go to their position after they got the couple to send their exact grid reference to the team’s control centre in Gosforth.

Richard Warren of the team said: “A male walker and his female partner in their late 20s, from Derby, had set off to climb Scafell Pike.

“The weather conditions on the mountain were extremely poor with high winds, driving rain and visibility down to 5m in dense cloud.

“They had become totally disorientated on the summit plateau, which is around 50m [164ft] below the 978m [3,209] summit and were unsure exactly where they were.

“They called the police mid-afternoon on their mobile and the team mobilised due to the severe conditions, the lateness of the day and they only had a small torch between them.”

Fourteen members of the team took part in the rescue, which lasted six hours. Neighbouring Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team was also put on standby in case extra help was needed.

Mr Warren said: “Fortunately for the team, they had a smartphone and the team managed to get a message to the couple which allowed them to feed back the phone’s exact grid reference position to the rescue base back in Gosforth.

Wasdale MRT members head out to the lost couple

Wasdale MRT members head out to the lost couple

“With this information, nine team members headed to their location. They were quickly located, warmed up and assisted down the mountain.

“In addition to the nine members on the fell there were a further five back at the base ready to bring up additional gear and manpower if the walkers, who were very cold, tired and wet, were unable to make their own way down.

“They were safely off the mountain by 7pm.”

Richard Warren pleaded with mountain-goers to carry the necessary clothing and equipment when venturing on to the Lake District fells. “Walkers should always ensure they are well equipped with good waterproofs, good torches for each member of the party and the ability to navigate off the mountain with map and compass, particularly in poor conditions,” he added.

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