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Saturday, 02 August 2014

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Lost man uses whistle to attract help from Penrith Mountain Rescue Team

A fell walker who got lost in poor weather conditions on a remote Cumbrian fell was found safe and well after rescuers followed the sound of his emergency whistle.

The man lost his way in wet and windy conditions on the Pennine Way near Cross Fell ten miles east of Penrith, late on Sunday afternoon.

Penrith Mountain Rescue Team was called out just after 6pm to look for the man, an experienced walker from the Manchester area, after he called the police using his mobile phone to say he was lost in rain and low cloud.

He had strayed “some distance” from the Pennine Way track as the weather conditions worsened.

As he waited to be found, the man initially tried to call his rescuers using his Smartphone to link up with satellite navigation software used by the rescue team.

But the link did not work so the man turned to a far more traditional method to help the searchers locate him – his trusty whistle.

The rescue team were stood down shortly after 10pm.

A spokesman for the rescue team said: “Fortunately, he was able to contact the police using his mobile phone.

“Search parties set off from Great Dun Fell, and were able to locate the walker in the dark by following the sound of blasts of his whistle.

“He was cold and wet, but otherwise safe and well. Fifteen members of the team were involved for four hours along with five search dogs and their handlers.

“This search would have taken much longer had the walker not had a whistle,” added the spokesman.

“The value of basic equipment such as whistle, map, compass and torch should not be underestimated.

“The weather conditions were pretty awful, but this incident shows that it’s not always about using hi-tech equipment.

“It was a very traditional method – blowing his whistle – that helped us locate this man.”

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