Man and son rescued from slopes of Slemish

North West Mountain Team performed a dramatic '˜search and rescue' operation after a man and his six-year old son got lost and trapped on Slemish mountain on Sunday evening.

The drama began around 5.30pm on Sunday evening, when a man made a frantic phone call to the PSNI asking for Mountain Rescue to come help him and his now six year old son.

The pair had set out for a pleasant afternoon walk but hadn’t realised just how quickly it can get dark in winter.

Without the proper clothing and equipment and with drastically reduced visibility and temperatures dropping rapidly, on what was already an ice and snow-covered mountain, the father realised the situation was very serious and called for help.

The PSNI tasked North West Mountain Rescue Team to undertake a search and rescue operation and their East Section, based in Broughshane abandoned their evening meals and responded immediately.

The first four members from the local area arrived and contacted the man by mobile phone. After a difficult, lengthy operation the pair were located high up, in among the ice covered rocks, frightened and getting colder in temperatures that had dropped to – 4C in a biting wind.

he first task was to get them warm and then get them off the hill as quickly as possible, which they did, when another 10 members of the team - some of whom had come from Belfast and Craigavon - arrived to the site with ropes and a stretcher to successfully evacuate both of them down, through dangerous terrain, to their grateful and relieved family waiting below

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.