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Scotland survey asks 'why do people have accidents in the mountains?'


By Gregor White

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A new survey aims to understand more about accidents in the mountains.
A new survey aims to understand more about accidents in the mountains.

A new survey has been created by Mountaineering Scotland with the aim of helping all organisations interested in safety in the hills and mountains gain better insight into the causes of accidents.

These organisations can then support individuals to make better decisions, helping them to enjoy their adventures and return home safely. In turn, it is hoped, this will help to save lives, and reduce pressure on Mountain Rescue Teams across the UK and Ireland.

The survey, - supported by he Mountain Safety Group, aims to find out more about the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, and ‘why’ of mountain incidents, with anyone who has had an accident in the UK, or who has helped someone else in the mountains after they have had an accident, being encouraged to submit their experiences.

This survey is open to anyone living in the UK and Ireland, for accidents that have taken place across Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.

Ross Cadie, Senior Mountain Safety Advisor at Mountaineering Scotland, said: “Getting a better insight into the drivers behind mountain accidents will be a game changer. Being able to recognise and then understand any patterns of behaviour will help us tailor our safety messaging and deliver better courses that will help to prevent accidents and save lives in the mountains.”

While Mountain Rescue Teams and the police collect information about the number and nature of rescues they attend, this only tells us what happened after the incident took place, not what caused it, or what the individual might have learned from it.

Dan Middleton, Climbing Development Manager at the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), added: “This survey is a great opportunity for the community to share their experiences and thereby help us all to learn from them, and as a result have safer adventures in our wonderful mountains.”

Inspector Matt Smith, Police Scotland lead for Mountain Rescue explained: “Preventative work to reduce accidents is a priority for us. Learning exactly why they take place will help us focus our work to reduce demand on volunteer mountain rescue teams and ultimately, help keep people safe.”

The survey can be completed here


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