All members whether old or new should familiarise themselves with our policy. If you lead regularly or don’t lead a lot, it’s important to know the steps that need to be taken to keep you and the rest of the party safe.
1 – If you become separated from the group remain where you are. ‘Phone someone if you have a signal, or shout, or whistle.
2 – On discovering that someone is missing, the main group shall stop.
3 – Two members of the group shall retrace the route to try and locate you, ‘phoning, calling, or using a whistle.
4 – After 15 minutes, the searchers will return to the main group which shall assess the situation.
5 – If necessary call the police.
6 – the main group shall continue with the walk.
Background notes –
a) All members of the club who have mobile ‘phones are encouraged to put other members’ and leaders’ numbers in their directories. Leaders with ‘phones should have them switched on. We know that we don’t always get signals, but ‘phones are ideal if they work.
b) Hopefully the missing person is somewhere on the route. NB anyone well in front of the leader could be deemed as “missing.”
c) Not everyone carries a whistle or knows the international signal for rescue, weather conditions may prevent hearing.
d) The leader has responsibility for the whole group and keeping them safe. Regular headcounts, especially after breaks and comfort stops should help to prevent near misses. However, everyone can help by watching out for each other, e.g. when there are possible choices of direction.
e) When assessing the situation, consider if the missing person is competent enough to find their own way, the weather conditions,, and if they may be ill or injured.
f) Calling the police may be the only option if you have been unsuccessful in locating the missing person.