Holiday warning from Oldham mountain rescue chief

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 24 December 2020

The leader of the unsung saviours of the hills has urged people to be prepared before venturing out over the festive period.

Rob Tortoiseshell, leader of Oldham Mountain Rescue Team, issued his warning ahead of families taking local Boxing Day walks or seasoned hikers heading for the moors.

He said: “Many incidents that OMRT attend involve lower leg injuries - twisted or broken ankles usually - that could potentially have been avoided had the proper footwear been worn. 

“Stout, well-laced boots are the best option to offer support when out on uneven, slippery terrain. 

“At every time of year, you should be prepared for the weather to turn; even the brightest summer's day can turn to rain at a moment's notice in the hills. 

“Always carry waterproofs and warm clothing with you - if a member of your party gets injured, it is surprising how quickly they will cool down when immobile.

“And in winter, carry a torch with spare batteries for those early dark nights.

“If the worst does happen, and you need to call for help when ill, injured or distressed in a remote area, DIAL 999, ASK FOR POLICE, THEN MOUNTAIN RESCUE. 

“Knowing exactly where you are will help the response hugely - although location apps may aid us in finding you, there is no substitute for an accurate OS grid reference location.”

Rob added: ‘All of this may seem over the top if you are just heading out for a dog walk, or for your usual run, but no one starts the day expecting to be rescued - anybody can be caught out. 

“At the very least, carry a fully-charged mobile phone and tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.

“But importantly, enjoy the beautiful area where we live and have an enjoyable Christmas.”

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