South Scotland

Pennine Way charity walkers suffer heat exhaustion

Windy Gyle Image copyright Eileen Henderson
Image caption The rescue happened near Windy Gyle on the Scotland-England border

Two women on a charity walk along the Pennine Way had to be rescued after suffering heat exhaustion.

The Border Search and Rescue Unit was called out to help the pair - both in their 50s - on Saturday afternoon.

They were part of a group of 10 but navigational errors meant they were stuck near Windy Gyle on the Scotland-England border for longer than planned.

BSARU was able to rescue the women who were suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion.

The party had set out from Langleeford to complete their charity walk but ended up staying out longer than anticipated.

With just one map between them, they split up after a disagreement with two descending on the Scottish side of the border and five returning to their start point on the English side.

The two casualties and a friend were left "hunkering down" on the ridge.

BSARU said they were found easily and returned to their hotel where they were checked over by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

'Underestimated hazard'

After rest and rehydration they were able to return home.

"It was a pretty straight-forward job for us," said BSARU team-leader Stuart Fuller Shapcott.

"The excellent ground conditions meant that we were able to get a vehicle very close to where it was needed, allowing a very simple evacuation."

However, he said it showed the importance of carrying a map when heading into the hills and also underlined that conditions could be just as dangerous in summer as in winter.

"Heat-injury is a much underestimated hazard, and can be just as lethal as hypothermia," he said.

"The onset can be sudden and symptoms can develop faster.

"When heading into the hills in the summer it is essential that you carry enough water, loose light clothing, a sun-hat and sunblock."

He advised checking weather forecasts in advance and in fine weather to "travel light" but carry a lightweight waterproof and extra layer in case temperatures drop.

"As always, the importance of a map and the necessary navigational skills cannot be overstated," he added.

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