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Callouts 2018

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 09:47

Lost poorly equipped lone walker found hypothermic on Dartmoor

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Lost poorly equipped lone walker found hypothermic on Dartmoor

Callout 03 / 2018 - 02:55  23rd January 2018

Shortly before 03:00 this morning, the team was called out to search for a missing lone female walker on the south of Dartmoor. 

The walker had been out the day before and was believed to have been geocaching. She raised the alarm by calling the Police from her mobile around midnight, indicating she was lost wet and cold,  who then asked us to respond. 

Dartmoor Search and Rescue landrover drops off a search team at Avon Dam reservoir at night in search for lone walker

Unfortunately, our conversation with the woman in her 20's was cut short as her mobile phone battery went dead. From the brief phone call we established that she was likely to be at 'Heap of SInners' on Huntingdon Warren.

Teams deployed from Shipley Bridge

Two field teams were deployed from Shipley Bridge in driving rain and squally winds tasked with searching the Huntingdon Warren area north of the Avon Dam Reservoir. Around 05:20 she was located at the Heap of Sinners, scared, wet through, mildly hypothermic and very relieved to see us. She was placed in our storm shelter, given some dry warm clothing and hot drink before she was walked off the moor to Ludgate.

Dartmoor Rescue Ashburton searchers and their search torches looking for lone hyperthermic walker at Huntingdon Warren

We are quite confident that the young lady from Hertfordshire has learnt a valuable lesson from her ordeal. She had no map or compass, no spare clothing, was dressed in jeans which were totally inadequate for both the terrain and weather conditions and certainly contributed to her situation and mild hypothermia. When walking on Dartmoor, you need to be properly protected against the weather conditions, not rely on electronic devices to find your way and have some spare clothing should things go wrong. She was very lucky we found her when we did as her condition was deteriorating in the poor weather.

Having handed over the young lady to the Police to return her to her car, our volunteers were stood down around 07:00 am and headed home to prepare for a day at work.

Our duty Search Manager Dave Underhill, talked to BBC Radio Devon about the incident and being properly equipped for activities on Dartmoor.




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