Team members in action during a rescue. Photo: Llanberis MRT

Team members in action during a rescue. Photo: Llanberis MRT

Calls for help to north Wales’s volunteer mountain rescuers increased in 2018.

The area’s six teams were alerted to more than 500 incidents last year, of which almost 400 resulted in callouts.

And the New Year continued in the same vein with the Llanberis team called out at 2am on Tuesday to rescue a solo walker who got lost trying to descend from Snowdon’s summit.

The rescue ended about 7am.

Chris Lloyd of the North Wales Mountain Rescue Association, the umbrella body for the volunteer teams, said a Search and Rescue Dogs Association animal and handler also took part in the rescue.

He said: “Similarly, last year Llanberis MRT were called at about the same time on New Year’s morning which set the trend of over 230 calls to assist people on Snowdon itself in 2018.

“The teams in the NWMRA region fielded over 500 calls for assistance. Some of these could be resolved by the team leaders without deployment of team members, either by the leader being able to talk the person from the mountain using the telephone, or the person resolving the situation themselves.

“However, nearly 400 of these calls required a callout of team members. These volunteers can be deployed at any time of day or night, in all weathers and on inhospitable ground.

“While a majority of the casualties are uninjured, others require casualty care and often evacuation by stretcher from the mountain. In the latter, the rescue team members and the casualties are fortunate that we are able to call upon the services of the [Maritime and Coastguard Agency]’s helicopter based at Caernarfon Airport.

“We are very grateful for the expertise of the helicopter crews who will often fly team members to or near the casualty site. Here the casualty can be treated and stabilised before being winched aboard and flown to hospital.”

Chris Lloyd is a member of the Ogwen Valley team. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Chris Lloyd is a member of the Ogwen Valley team. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Mr Lloyd said in 2018 more than 560 people were helped by the volunteers of the rescue teams in north Wales. “This requires several thousand person-hours of commitment to the hills and mountains and does not include the time spent on training, administration and fund raising for the individual charities.”

The association’s member teams are: Aberdyfi Search and Rescue; South Snowdonia Search and Rescue Team; Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Team; Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation and North East Wales Search and Rescue.

The North Wales Cave Rescue Organisation and the newly formed lowland search and rescue team on Anglesey, MônSAR are both also associated with NWMRA.

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