A group “incapable of walking” had to be rescued from England’s highest mountain after smoking cannabis, police say.
The four climbers sparked a three-hour mountain rescue operation after getting stuck on Scafell Pike in Cumbria’s Lake District yesterday afternoon.
Cumbria Police said “words fail us” after mountain rescue, air support and ambulance crews had to be dispatched to the 978 metre (3,209 ft) peak when the walkers got a lot higher than they expected.
Persons stuck on mountain, after taking cannabis. Having to deploy M'tain Rescue, Air support and Ambulance to rescue them.....— Cumbria Police (@Cumbriapolice) September 23, 2017
Police received an emergency call from the “incapacitated” group who said they were stuck on the mountain after taking the Class B drug.
“Now having to deploy mountain rescue, air support and ambulance to rescue them,” Cumbria Police posted on social media.
“Persons rescued after becoming incapable of walking due to cannabis use. MRT volunteers putting themselves at risk to prevent harm.”
The group were brought down to safety by the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team, a group of volunteers that support the emergency services in the area, at 9:45pm.
Cumbria Police warned walkers against taking alcohol or any other impairing substances onto a mountain.
“We received a 999 emergency call at approximately 6:30pm” a Cumbria Police spokesperson said.
“Unfortunately a group of four people who were on Scafell Pike had run into difficulty.
“Cumbria Constabulary liaised the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team who were able to bring them down to safety at 9:45pm.”
Persons rescued after becoming incapable of walking due to cannabis use. MRT volunteers putting themselves at risk to prevent harm.— Cumbria Police (@Cumbriapolice) September 23, 2017
North Cumbria Superintendent, Justin Bibby, warned walkers to “never underestimate the mountain and always prepare before setting out”.
He added: “Mountain safety is your responsibility, bring the right equipment and food, and know how to use it, our priority is your safety.
“The mountain rescue team had a particularly busy day yesterday dealing with this incident.
“They are volunteers, they do an amazing job and are always there to assist those who get into difficulty.
“Taking alcohol or any other substance that could impair your judgement significantly increases your risk of getting into trouble. It has no place on a mountain.”
The Lake District Search And Mountain Rescue Association (LDSAMRA), the umbrella body for mountain rescue teams in Cumbria, said such callouts were “becoming a joke”.
Social media users have criticised the “idiotic” group, with one posting on Cumbria Police’s Facebook page: “There should be a mandatory financial charge for this sort of thing.”
I find it hard to believe that they are completely unable to walk because of cannabis use. Like blaming someone’s morning coffee for 1/2— NIBLO (@niblomusic) September 23, 2017
That's what the group rang and told the police and MRT agree seems an excessive incapacitation— Copeland Police (@CopelandPolice) September 24, 2017
Alison Mortimer wrote: “Surely when there is culpability, the emergency services are able to charge for their services? All credit to those who get called out tonight to ‘rescue’ these idiots.”
“Really? What bloody idiots. They should pay you for rescuing them in these circumstances,” commented another.