‘Send a text message for help if there is no reception for a phone call,’ that’s the advice from the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS).
The search and rescue service has taken the start of winter as an opportune point to reminded walkers, climbers and mountaineers that there is the option to text 999 that in an emergency when it’s not possible to call for help.
In many remote areas phone coverage is limited for calls, but may still be enough to send a text message. This is particularly helpful for those deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired.
It is necessary to pre-register for the service by texting ‘register’ to 999, but this is free and only takes seconds to set up, notes grough.co.uk.
Each year Scottish mountain rescue teams are called out on average 750 times to people in difficulty, notes outdoorsmagic.com. Services like this can mean the difference between life and death.
Heather Morning, safety advisor for MCofS says: “If an accident happens to you or one of your party, the situation may be so serious that professional help is required. If you have a mobile phone signal, dial 999 and ask for ‘police and mountain rescue’.”
UK hikers can also call the European 112 emergency number if they are having difficulties getting through to 999. When no mobile reception can be found, even after walking uphill, it may be necessary to send someone for help.
Interested parties can download an information leaflet on the SMS service from www.emergencysms.org.uk.