Family Rescued from Kinder Scout

Family Rescued from Kinder Scout

21/04/14 Family of 4 became lost and four five mountain rescue teams involved in search

Rescued from Kinder Scout

A family of four became lost on Easter Sunday, sparking a search by 5 mountain rescue teams, before being located at 5am

Read full article at

A great effort by the 80 volunteers of Glossop, Kinder, Edale, Buxton & Derby Mountain Rescue Teams, who all give their time for free and fund rescues and training by public donation.

Comment from MountainSafety

There is scant information available, but this incident goes to prove the dangers of a family walk in the hills, and serves as an example for all of us about what can go wrong and how going light on kit on a sunny day may not always be a good idea.

Key Points

  • Navigation is crucial - get on a course & learn how to do it. Providers here. Navigation information here, with particular reference to relocation (i.e. when 'lost') here. Simple navigational techniques would have assisted in the family 'finding' themselves hours earlier, but only if they carried a map & compass and knew how to use them. We do not know skill levels or kit carried from the article.
  • Simple navigational techniques are: 1) orient the map, 2) note where you are at what time, 3) what direction are we heading in (with a compass), 4) how long since our last check point, 5) what have we seen along the way, and can we relate that info to the map. If you walk at 4 km/h, you may have walked one grid square in 15 mins, or equivalent. If you don't know where you are, re-trace your steps back to your last known location. 
  • Perhaps they did not have a torch and only called for help when it started to get dark. Carry a torch for days in the year that it gets dark, i.e. all of them.
  • Mobile phones* do not always work in the hills. This is an example of how the Emergency SMS service may have helped. Are you registered? Also consider alternative forms of emergency communication, including satellite messengers. Plan your emergency communication options relative to the remoteness of your route. 
  • There is the possibility that the family called for help only when it was getting dark, but their plight was perhaps suspected a little earlier. Read about when to call for help.
  • Do you have an Emergency Point of Contact (EPOC) who knows your route? Whilst the initial call came from the family itself, a later call to police from a concerned EPOC would have been able to give further information, such as kit carried, level of experience etc. If the family was tracking their progress by satellite messenger** (remember, there was no mobile signal), then their exact location would have been known and passed by the EPOC
  • The family were out in the wilds and lost for 10 hours plus, and if it was raining, there would have been a high chance of hypothermia setting in. Always carry emergency kit. Spare warm layers, personal survival bag, spare food and a group/storm shelter. Read about essential kit here

*Incidentally, whether the family contacted 999 or 112, the signal to/from the phone would have been the same. Bust some myths about the differences between 999 & 112 here

**you can borrow a satellite messenger for free. Read more here