Thursday, 28 December 2006

Hillwalkers escorted to safety

Stornoway Coastguard reported the following successful rescue mission this afternoon.

At 3:40pm today, Stornoway Coastguard received a report from a group of eight Hill Walkers on the island of Harris that they required assistance due to poor weather conditions and fading light while climbing on the 743m height Mulla-Fo-Dheas.

The party of 8, all adults and thought to be from Lewis and Harris, were well equipped but found themselves in an area of very steep terrain with wet slippery rocks underfoot when the weather closed in and mist reduced the visibility to just 50 metres. As darkness was only an hour or so away they took the precaution of informing Stornoway Coastguard and requested assistance to get the party off the hill.

The Coastguard Rescue Teams from Tarbert and Scalpay were despatched to a track some two miles south of the party. The Coastguards walked up the track to meet the party of 8 and, as the visibility was better at low levels, were able to used white parachute flares to guide the part in the direction of the path.

The eight hill walkers were located, safe & well, at 5:15pm and escorted off the hill. All were in good spirits and none required medical treatment.

Watch Manager Martin Collins says:
Although the Hill Walkers were equipped to spend the night on the hills if the need arose, it was felt that with the temperatures expected to drop overnight it was safer to assist them off the hills. We were able to keep in regular contact with the party via mobile phone until they were met by the Coastguard team.

It is unusual for the Coastguard to be involved with mountain rescues using our Rescue Teams but without a dedicated Mountain Rescue Team on the islands then the Coastguards have the skills and knowledge to deal with this type of incident.

NOTE: The above map shows in detail the area where the rescue took place. The track that the report refers to is visible in the bottom left corner of the image. This is reproduced with the kind permission of the Ordnance Survey.


  1. I'm so glad they were safe!

  2. Glad to read they are safe now...thanks for the info...