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Mountain rescue teams experience worst year for call-outs

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In 2021, volunteers were called 680 times ‑ with an “absolutely chaotic” Christmas ‑ said the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association. Its previous record was 650 in 2018 ‑ and while association chairman Richard Warren said his 12 volunteer teams “loved helping people”, he called many of the rescues “avoidable”.

He said there had been a “massive increase” in visitors due to Covid-related difficulties with foreign travel, but that walkers were too reliant on mobile phones for navigation and information.

There were 11 rescues across Christmas week with two call-outs on December 25 ‑ before a “very sad end to the year” when a man died after suffering a “medical episode” on Skiddaw, near Keswick in Cumbria on New Year’s Eve.

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