Summer 2020 ‘busiest ever’ for mountain rescue teams

Despite April to June being Scottish Mountain Rescue's quietest on record, the following three months proved to be its busiest ever season.

Summer 2020 ‘busiest ever’ for mountain rescue teams Facebook

Summer 2020 was the “busiest ever” for rescue teams as an end to lockdown restrictions brought hundreds of hill walkers to the Scottish mountains.

Scottish Mountain Rescue (SMR) said there was a “surge” of activity when travel restrictions were lifted in July and members had to deal with over 100 callouts.

The organisation, who represent 24 volunteer mountain rescue teams, released its annual figures on Thursday and hope they will “give the general public a flavour of the hard work and commitment shown” throughout a year full of challenges.

The rescue operations included hill walkers, climbers and missing person searches.

Despite warm weather, that would usually see a rise in callouts, in late spring 2020 they were at an all time low, but in contrast, the three months from July to September represented the busiest quarter on record.

July, August and September had over 100 call outs each, with all three surpassing their previous busiest years.

Scottish Mountain Rescue said its organisations responded to 497 incidents in 2020, slightly less than in 2019 and 2018, with volunteers putting in a collective total of 24,401 hours.

Kev Mitchell, vice chair of Scottish Mountain Rescue said: “We hope the production of our Annual Review will give the general public a flavour of the hard work and commitment shown by Scottish Mountain Rescue team volunteers and, while we are proud of 24,401 hours of volunteering on callouts, this figure can easily be doubled when training activities are taken into account.  

“A truly magnificent effort from SMR teams who have faced challenge after challenge with the changes Covid-19 has thrown at them but, despite this, continue to carry on volunteering to save lives, any hour, any day, any weather.”