News Item

Another phone navigation warning

Last week saw yet another rescue of lost walkers who were relying solely on smartphone navigation.

The 3 walkers had begun their day out in Scotland's Trossachs Mountains in clear weather, but had been caught out by cloud closing in around them near the summit.

They had no map or compass and were using a smart phone to navigate - and by 1500 they were lost.

The walkers contacted the local police, who in turn called a RN Sea King helicopter on a training flight from HMS GANNET. The helicopter landed just below cloud at 2,300ft and the crewman - on foot - ultimately located the 3 at over 3,000ft on Beinn a Chroin and led them back to the aircraft.

Crewman Mike Henson commented 'Fortunately they had a whistle which they were able to blow to give me an indication of where they were - the easiest thing was to tell them to stay in one place and for me to go to them. They had been lost for about 2 hours by the time I got there.'

He praised the walkers for having the foresight to wear high visibility clothing and bring a whistle, but stressed that choosing to navigate by phone was dangerous. 'It is not a good idea to venture into the mountains, no matter how clear the day, without having a proper map and compass with you - and knowing how to use them. It doesn't take much for the weather to close in around you and mobile phone reception can be notoriously fickle.'

Details from the BBC below.

  • 29 October 2012
  • NOF

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