Hillwalkers and climbers are being encouraged to plan their walks and be prepared for all eventualities following an increase in mountain rescue call-outs.
A 20% increase in emergency service responses across the Highlands, north-east and Tayside regions has been recorded in 2020 – in comparison to any other year.
Teams in Tayside have been deployed to 64 incidents whereas in the north-east responders have tackled 50 call-outs and more than 210 in the Highlands.
Sergeant Peter Lorrain-Smith, Police Scotland’s mountain rescue co-ordinator, said: “I must highlight just how crucial it is that you are prepared. Plan the route you are going to walk and consider whether it is safe to climb and if you have the ability to complete it safely.
“Also take sensible precautions and ensure you have suitable equipment, clothing and supplies.
Hillwalkers & climbers are being urged to plan and prepare for all eventualities as mountain rescue teams in the #North have recorded their busiest period on record.
— North East Police (@NorthEPolice) November 18, 2020
“Unfortunately we continue to come across examples of people not being prepared for the walks or climbs they have embarked on, including people without maps, torches or basic survival gear, nor the skills and knowledge to use them.”
Police Scotland’s mountain rescue teams continue to carry out vital training during this period, and continue to work alongside other mountain rescue teams in Scotland.
He continued said: “I am extremely proud of the work that has been carried out by our teams and the partners we work with during this critical time to help those in need.
“I appreciate that getting outdoors is great for people’s well-being at this challenging time, however the well-being of our teams is also a priority for me and I can see the impact this increase in demand on our services is having, combined with the wider Covid-19 restrictions we all face.”
Hillwalkers are asked to call the Mountain Rescue team on 999 in case of being lost, injured or needing assistance.