Learn Skills What To Do In A Hill Walking Emergency

What To Do In A Hill Walking Emergency


If you have an emergency in the British hills — for example you are injured, lost or 'crag-fast' (too scared to continue), then dial 999, ask for ‘Police’, and then ‘Mountain Rescue’. You will need to explain the nature of your emergency and give Mountain Rescue your location.

If you have a smart phone with enough signal and battery, the team will send you a SARLOC or PhoneFind link by text message. Invented by Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue, and first successfully used on rescues in 2011, these two apps interrogate your phone and relay your exact GPS back to the Mountain Rescue.

If this option doesn't work, you will need to give the team your grid reference. National grid references are used to accurately pinpoint your location on an Ordnance Survey map. If you don't have a way to find your grid reference, learn where latitude and longitude is displayed on your phone, for example the iPhone's standard Compass app gives it. It looks complicated, but Mountain Rescue can convert it into a grid reference.

Failing those two options, you will need to give the Mountain Rescue as much verbal information about your location as you can.

If you are unable to make voice calls, you can contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. You do need to register for this, there’s no cost to register and it’s better to do it in advance of an emergency. To register text ‘register’ to 999 and follow the instructions.

Bear in mind that depending on your location, and the accuracy of the information you’re able to give to Mountain Rescue, it could be hours before the team is able to reach you. Carrying emergency equipment can greatly increase your chances of surviving in the worst case scenario.

READ more about Emergency Equipment

Before you leave, it’s a good idea to let someone know your planned route and what time you expect to be back. If for any reason you don’t return, they will be able to raise the alarm and pass details on to Mountain Rescue.