Don’t use mobiles in Ochils say mountain rescuers

Five teenagers got lost in the Ochils prompting a warning from mountain rescue team
Five teenagers got lost in the Ochils prompting a warning from mountain rescue team

Mountain rescue officials are warning people not use smartphones with GPS apps for navigation after five teenagers went missing in the Ochils.

The Ochils Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) say walkers’ poor navigation skills and their reliance on mobile devices is getting people lost.

The group of teenagers were walking from Blackford to the Hillfoots last Sunday when they became disorientated and stranded in the Ochils.

Their families contacted police in the evening and they were eventually spotted by Tayside Mountain Rescue who were in the area searching for another missing person.

Team leader of Ochils MRT Kev Mitchell said: “The reliance on mobile telephone technology for walkers and mountaineers seems to be on the increase with many not aware of the pitfalls of GPS on phones use of mast for locating their position.

“Batteries on telephone are also running out leaving walkers stranded as they don’t know how to use a map and compass.

“I would urge walkers to ensure they have the basic knowledge to navigate with a map and compass. The batteries don’t run out on them.”

The Ochils MRT is the recognised organisation for lowland and mountain SAR (Search and Rescue) in the police areas of Falkirk and Clackmannanshire.