Warning after father and son rescued on Slemish mountain

Slemish mountain
Slemish mountain

A warning has been issued to hill walkers after a father and son sparked a search and rescue operation on Slemish mountain in Co Antrim on Sunday evening.

Following what the North West Mountain Rescue Team described as a “dramatic” incident involving the man and his six-year-old son, a spokesman said anyone venturing into the hills or mountains should make sure they have appropriate clothing, footwear and torches.

Sunday’s rescue mission began around 5.30pm when the man made a frantic phone call for the PSNI.

The pair had set out for an afternoon walk but had misjudged how quickly the light would fade and became stranded on ice covered rocks in sub-zero temperatures.

Initially four members of the rescue team’s section based in Broughshane responded to the emergency call from police and arrived in the area a short time later with ropes and a stretcher.

However, it was difficult to locate the pair as they had no torch to guide their rescuers.

Other members of the mountain rescue service joined their colleagues on Slemish and the man was able to use the light from his mobile phone to aid the team once they got close enough to see it.

By this time the temperature had dropped to -4C.

A spokesman said: “Fortunately neither father or son was seriously injured and a potential major tragedy was prevented, but the team are keen to point out, that this incident highlighted the need to make sure that if you are going up on any hill, at any time – but particularly during the winter months – and especially if young children are involved, that you have the right clothing, including good footwear, warm, waterproof clothing and the right equipment, such as torches, as temperatures drop dramatically and darkness can come down very quickly.”