Rescuers accompany the family to safety. Photo: Keswick MRT

Rescuers accompany the family to safety. Photo: Keswick MRT

Rescuers said a family caught out in darkness on a Lake District peak could have avoided getting into difficulties if they had started out earlier and taken torches.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team went to the aid of the group, including two young children, on Cat Bells on Thursday.

The team was alerted about 4.20pm when the walkers became disoriented in the dark and mist on the summit of the 451m (1,480ft) fell.

A team spokesperson said: “Initially they estimated their position as being above Black Crags on Maiden Moor, and the team began to prepare for a search.

“However, they were able to respond to a Sarloc text, which pinpointed their position as being just off the north end of Cat Bells summit.” The Sarloc system enables rescue teams to send a link to a person’s smartphone which, when followed, allows their position to be pinpointed using the phone’s built-in GPS receiver.

The spokesperson said: “They were not at all confident of their ability to descend with the two children down some slippery rock sections, so a small group of team members went out to meet them and assist them down.

“They were met at the bottom by another team vehicle which ferried them back to their accommodation.

“This incident might have been avoided by making an earlier start to the walk, and ensuring they had torches.”

The rescue lasted almost 2¼ hours and involved nine volunteers from Keswick MRT.

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