Four men were rescued from England’s highest mountain after “becoming incapable of walking due to cannabis use”, police have said.
Cumbria police were called at about 6:30pm on Saturday after the group ran into difficulty on Scafell Pike, a 3,210 ft peak.
Writing on Facebook, a spokesperson for the force said: “Persons phoning Cumbria police because they are stuck on a mountain, after taking cannabis. Now having to deploy [mountain] rescue, air support and ambulance to rescue them. Words fail us …”
Police said they worked with the Wasdale mountain rescue team and were able to bring the men down to safety at 9:45 pm.
The post provoked furious reactions on social media, with some users suggesting the group be asked to cover the cost of the rescue operation. The comments prompted Copeland’s local police force to respond that they “always ensure people are safe, regardless of choices they make that put them in a dangerous position”.
Justin Bibby from Cumbria police said climbers should never underestimate the mountains and always be prepared before setting out. “Mountain safety is your responsibility,” he said.
“Carry the right equipment and food, and know how to use it. Our priority is your safety. The Wasdale mountain rescue team had a particularly busy day yesterday dealing with this and other incidents.
“They are volunteers, they do an amazing job and they are always there to assist those who get into difficulty.
“Taking alcohol or any other substance that could impair your judgment significantly increases your risk of getting into trouble. It has no place on a mountain.”
The Wasdale mountain rescue team has been called out nearly 80 times so far this year to help people stuck on the mountains in the area.
Commenting on the story on Facebook, the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, the umbrella body for mountain rescue teams in Cumbria, said such callouts were “becoming a joke”.
This comes only 2 weeks after a Man climbed a mountain in his underwear, and needed assistance after suffering symptoms of hypothermia.