Be safe when out walking

06 Mar 2017 14:52 PM

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Police are advising walkers to make sure they are well prepared before they set out walking especially in more difficult terrain.

This follows recent incidents when walkers needed to be rescued by the emergency services, including one last month (on Sunday, February 12), after a group of ten walkers became stranded in The Cheviots.

This led to a multi-agency operation between Northumbria Police, Police Scotland and Mountain Rescue being launched to search for, and rescue, the walkers. The rescue involved over 60 volunteers from four Mountain Rescue Teams – Border Search & Rescue Unit, North of Tyne MRT, Northumberland National Park MRT and Tweed Valley MRT. They were found by Mountain Rescue near to the Border Ridge and taken to hospital as a precaution, only one was suffering from hypothermia, the others had minor injuries.

Now, Northumbria Police wants to prevent the necessity for such rescues over the coming weeks and months. Officers are reminding walkers to make sure they take all necessary precautions to stay safe before they set foot on the hills, moors, riverside and coastal areas in our region.

Chief Inspector Aidan Sloan, from Northern Area Command said: "We want to advise all walkers to make sure they are fully prepared for all weather conditions including adverse conditions when heading off rambling and to remind them to think about this and take suitable precautions before embarking on a trip.

"While the terrain in our countryside and seaside areas is certainly beautiful, it can be hazardous in certain conditions, if people are not fully prepared and wearing the right clothing to match the weather conditions.

"It's always advisable for walkers to leave route details with someone back at base who can assist the co-ordination of any subsequent searches. Walkers should take note of safety tips to avoid making mistakes which can lead to people needing to be rescued."

Iain Nixon, Team Leader of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team said, “Walkers should plan their routes according to their experience, having checked the weather forecast, and take suitable clothing and equipment for the activity they have chosen to do. Recognising your limits, and staying within them, is essential to keeping yourself safe. Remember, the hills will always be there for another day – make sure you will be too.
“If you do need Mountain Rescue assistance – phone 999, ask for the Police, and then ask for Mountain Rescue.”

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