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Mountain Rescue team 'has busiest ever year'

Posted 7 January 2013
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Mountain Rescue team 'has busiest ever year'
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The Kendal Mountain Search and Rescue Team has revealed 2012 was its busiest ever year.

During the course of last year it was called out 55 times, beating the previous high of 52 in 2004. The normal figure is over 40 a year.

Some might imagine this indicates that people are becoming increasingly lax with their own safety when heading for the fells, but team leader Eddie Harrison pointed out that in the last decade teams such as Kendal and others in the Lake District have increasingly taken on extra duties beyond mountain rescue.

This includes water rescue and the provision of assistance to other emergency services.

Indeed, Kendal's area of operations includes part of Windermere and the Kent estuary, so those in trouble in water and mud can be added to those who might have become imperilled on the Kentmere fells or other high ground.

New Year's Day 2012 brought one such case, with a canoeist getting into trouble near Sedbergh.

Even so, those who like to go walking in the Lake District can help reduce the tally of call-outs - and the risk of an enjoyable day out turning bad - by having all the right equipment.

Good walking boots can help reduce the chance of ankle injuries, while thermal clothing and warm headwear can help combat the cold in the winter months.

Ordnance Survey maps and compasses are also important for navigation to prevent call-outs by people lost on the fells. This may be particularly important at this time of year when the days are short. Torches are also very useful both for helping with navigation and safe negotiation of paths if it does get dark, as well as providing a visual signal if a rescue is required.

Crampons and an ice axe can also help with frozen ground and snow. Wintry conditions can bring many slips and trips, with this time last year bringing the case of a woman who slipped on icy ground near Staveley and injured her leg. The Kendal team helped her to a waiting ambulance.

So while the mountain rescue teams are always around to help, walkers and climbers can do much to both remove the need for them to come out and also to ensure they can finish the day in one piece, having used their clothing and equipment to ensure they complete their adventure without mishap.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801517402-ADNFCR