Rescue teams report rise in number of call-outs to walkers w

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Rescue teams report rise in number of call-outs to walkers w

文章 #1  未閱讀文章PoP » 2015-09-12 00:00

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -maps.html

Hi-tech hikers on the wrong path: Rescue teams report rise in number of call-outs to walkers who use SAT NAVS instead of maps

Walkers who cannot read paper maps and instead rely on their mobile's GPS were blamed for an English beauty spot's rise in mountain rescue call-outs.

An 'over-reliance on electronic equipment' has been blamed for the slow increase in callouts for busy Lake District mountain rescuers.

Coniston Mountain Rescue Team has so far sprung into action 44 times this year - already one more than the whole of 2014.

The organisation's Jeff Carroll said people relying on systems such as GPS and maps on mobile phones has been a major issue.

Instead, he urged tourists, walkers and cyclists who explore their beauty spot's countless mountain trails to carry a simple compass and Ordnance Survey paper map.

Mr Carroll said: 'This year we have seen quite a few mountain bikers coming to grief.

'The other thing is this over-reliance on electronic equipment - people using GPS and mapping on their phones, which is only ever really any good when the phone's got decent signal or battery.

'You speak to some people and they say, 'Yes, we're well equipped. We've got shorts and a T-shirt.' That's not really well equipped.

'There's an element of people just not understanding the conditions - how much different it is on the top of Coniston Old Man compared to walking down a road in the village.'

On the 'Mountain Rescue England and Wales' website, it urges readers to only us their mobile phones for making emergency calls - not for map-reading.

It reads: 'A map and compass are essential kit and should be easily accessible - not buried in the rucksack!

'A mobile phone and GPS are useful tools but don't rely on your mobile to get you out of trouble - in many areas of the mountains there is no signal coverage.

'Your mobile phone may not be the most reliable way of calling for help.

'Batteries can very quickly run flat and signal coverage in the hills is still a hit and miss affair.

'That said, the use of mobiles has grown enormously in the last ten years and the majority of calls for mountain rescue help are made by mobile.

'The days of running down the hill to the nearest telephone box to summon help - it would appear - are well and truly over!'

Lake District rescues in recent months have included a cyclist who got lost in Grizedale Forest, unprepared walkers who became disorientated in mist on Coniston Old Man and a request to look for a missing dog.

The team's 44th callout came during the last August bank holiday weekend.

Safety adviser, Heather Morning, said: 'Aside from the limitations of battery life, reception and limits on using touch screens with gloves on, the issue lies with people, and their ability - or lack of ability - in basic navigation skills.

'A GPS, smartphone or navigation app is unable to read important subtleties, such as a sensible route choice.

'Unless you have already used your navigational abilities to programme in an exact route, it won't direct you away from cliffs or show you the best place to cross a river - or offer an alternative if a bridge is down or the river is in flood.'

The mountain rescue team covering Britain's highest peak also blamed record call-outs on the fact walkers rely on smartphones instead of learning to read a map.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue in Scotland, whose area includes 4,409ft Ben Nevis, is normally called out between 70 and 100 times a year. But by last week it had dealt with 103 alerts in 2015.

Team leader John Stevenson said that as well as the usual issues of bad weather and 'slips and trips', smartphones were causing navigation problems.

He said: 'Navigation has been a big issue this year. People should know how to use a map and compass and not be relying on mobile phones.

'Another big problem has been people not leaving information about where in the hills they are going.

'We are having to search big areas because of that.'

Earlier this year, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland asked people not to rely on smartphones and GPS devices as navigation tools in the hills.

It urged hillwalkers not already versed in the use of a map and compass to learn the skill.
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