Page last updated at 08:04 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 09:04 UK

Busiest year for mountain rescues

Lake District walkers
The Lake District is a popular walking destination

Mountain rescue teams in the Lake District had their busiest year for rescues in 2007, figures have revealed.

But while teams dealt with 425 emergencies, the number of fatalities fell from 28 in 2006 to 21 last year.

Rescuers said many visitors were unprepared for the changeable and challenging conditions, despite repeated warnings about the dangers.

The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association said last year's were the highest since 2004.

'Come prepared'

John Dempster, from the association, said the number of emergencies have steadily increased since the end of the foot and mouth crisis in 2001.

He said: "We still see a lot of people going on the fells who are not prepared, not even taking a map or compass.

"The fatalities for 2007 were down a little bit on the previous year, but that is probably tied in to the weather, as last summer was pretty awful.

"All we are asking people to do is come prepared. That means have a map and compass, plan the route and carry a mobile phone, some spare clothes and a whistle and torch.

"The most important thing is to treaty the fells with a bit of respect."

Lakes walker collapses and dies
08 Mar 07 |  Cumbria
Walker rescued from mountainside
31 Jan 07 |  Cumbria

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