Lake District walker ‘lucky to be alive’ – Man sparks 24-hour rescue mission after using Google Maps to navigate
22nd February 2023
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Over 70 mountain rescue team volunteers, five search dogs and two drones were involved in a 24-hour mission to find a lost walker in the Lake District.
Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team was called by police at around 6.25pm on Monday to find the walker, who had reported that he was lost between Scafell Pike and Great End.
He was located thanks to his mobile phone and despite poor weather – thick mist and rain – was asked to stay where he was so volunteers could find him.
The team dispatched members to his location, but he was not there and contact had been lost.
The walker’s phone battery was declining rapidly.
Search dogs from Keswick and Cockermouth mountain rescue teams were requested and volunteers continued to look for the walker. Volunteers from nine teams were part of the search.
However, by the early hours, he had still not been located. Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team said: “The teams reluctantly came off the hill, having done all they could overnight in extremely cold and wet conditions.”
The search continued at first light yesterday, Tuesday, February 21. Due to the weather, a helicopter could not be used.
The man was eventually found at 2.30pm yesterday as teams were making their way off the east bank of Piers Gill. He was hypothermic and had knee, leg and foot injuries. He was carried on a stretcher and taken to hospital for treatment.
Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team said: “We rarely comment on a rescue, but in this case, we would like to say that he was very, very fortunate to have survived his ordeal.
“We also have to say that Google Maps on smartphones are not suitable for navigating the hills, they lack detail and of course will not work with a flat battery. There’s no substitute for a map and compass and being able to use them. They can save one’s life.
“The team wishes to thank the incredible support provided by all the teams and also the willingness of the Helimed and Coastguard helicopter to respond, but prevented to by bad weather.”
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