Glencoe hikers fined for travel breach after rescue by a 25-person team

Two men from Oban have been fined by police after they broke coronavirus restrictions to travel across the country to climb a Munro near Glencoe on New Year’s Eve.

Police Scotland said the pair, aged 21 and 27, had to be rescued on their descent of Buachaille Etive Mòr at 3:25pm on Thursday, after one of them suffered a leg injury as light was fading.

25 members of the Glencoe Mountain Rescue were forced to scale the Munro on foot in the dark in order to find the men safely.

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The injured man was taken by land ambulance to hospital for assessment.

Police Scotland said the pair, aged 21 and 27, had to be rescued on their descent of Buachaille Etive Mòr at 3:25pm on Thursday, after one of them suffered a leg injury as light was fading.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Police Scotland said the pair, aged 21 and 27, had to be rescued on their descent of Buachaille Etive Mòr at 3:25pm on Thursday, after one of them suffered a leg injury as light was fading. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Officers said that during the rescue, a member of Glencoe MRT suffered an injury which is currently undergoing medical assessment.

Inspector Kevin Macleod from Highlands & Islands Police Division said: “The men had travelled from Oban to hike this route, and found themselves in difficulty as the light was fading at 3.25pm when police and MRT were called.

“The rescue took a total of 108 man hours and the team stood down at 7.30pm. Both men, aged 21 and 27, were issued with fixed penalty notices for breaching travel regulations.

"We continue to ask people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to protect the NHS and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading."

Andy Neilson, Team Leader from Glencoe Mountain Rescue said: “We will always continue to provide the vital MRT service that we are committed to, however, the volunteers assisting the men did feel vulnerable due to the inevitable close contact required and we have to prioritise the health of our members in order to continue to provide this vital service."

Scots are currently banned from travelling outside their local authority area under Level 4 restrictions imposed on mainland Scotland.

Those who breach the travel ban could be issued with a fixed penalty notice for £60, with subsequent breaches doubling the fine to a maximum of £960. In serious cases, the person could be prosecuted and subject to a court-imposed fine.

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