Two rescue efforts sparked by walkers

An SMS location app was used to find two walkers in the Cheviot Hills.
An SMS location app was used to find two walkers in the Cheviot Hills.

Police and mountain rescue teams were alerted twice in the space of a few hours at the weekend to help with searches in north Northumberland.

The first was on Saturday around 7.15pm when police contacted Northumberland National Park and North of Tyne mountain rescue teams after receiving a report from two lost walkers.

Little information was available as to the walkers’ intended route, other than they had started near Wooler.

One of the incident controllers spoke to the walkers and ascertained that they roughly knew where they were.

They then successfully used SARLOC – a SMS location app – to pin-point the walkers’ location, which was on the south-east side of Hedgehope Hill.

Guidance was then provided to the walkers and they managed to walk off the hill themselves, arriving back in the Harthope Valley at 9.40pm.

The second incident came shortly after 3am on Sunday morning when police contacted both mountain rescue teams for assistance in locating a female walker in her early 70s, who had failed to meet up with her husband at 9pm.

The woman had been walking the Northumberland Coastal Path and had set off from Belford to walk to Fenwick in the late afternoon.

After trying to locate his wife, the husband raised the alarm in the early hours.

Police located the woman on a drivable track in the woods near to the coastal path.

She had fallen, sustaining minor injuries, but due to the poor conditions overnight, she was also suffering from the cold.

She was assessed and treated by a team medic before being transported to hospital.

Last week, we reported that the mountain rescue teams have had a very busy summer so far with eight call-outs in the past three weeks.

Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team (NNPMRT) and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team (NOTMRT) provide a search and rescue service in the Northumbria Police area.

Each team needs around £20,000 a year to continue offering this service, all of which is raised through donations.