Author Topic: Lost children  (Read 4412 times)

phil1960

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Lost children
« on: 15:07:47, 29/06/16 »
According to the Welsh teletext service, 3 MRT teams are currently searching for 24 lost children in the Llyn y Fan Fach area of the Black Mountain. I know this area very well and parts of it are no place to be in mist and rain, especially for the inexperienced. Let's hope everything works out ok.
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Surfer99

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #1 on: 15:10:24, 29/06/16 »
Have just read this on the BBC, seems the MRT have been in contract with the groups via phone, but have a idea where they are , however have not located them as yet.

sussamb

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #2 on: 15:15:31, 29/06/16 »
Let's hope they're found swiftly and are all safe.

Good to know though that kids can still be let loose on our hills.  I developed my love of the Brecon area during numerous school adventure training trips more years ago than I care to remember, when we were despatched in small groups to navigate cross country from one campsite to another.  I say campsite but they were locations arranged by the school.  Sometimes we did camp, others I remember well were a hut on the lake south of Talybont and a barn somewhere near Ystradfelte :)

It was always a school week I looked forward to!
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Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #3 on: 16:09:33, 29/06/16 »
Blimey, that's one of the remotest areas of the western Brecon Beacons, who on earth decided to lead a large school party of possibly poorly clad school children into such a remote area.
The weather forecast was horrendous to start with, and the group leader still chose one of the quietest locations in the whole Beacons.


I bet there were less than a handful of staff looking after the group, and nobody took into account the stragglers, or less fit members of the party.


The fact they got lost,indicates that they had no idea of the kind of terrain they had chosen, and the adults in the party, were not proficient in navigation in hostile weather.


Everything sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

Let's hope they are all found safely, but in this case, the police should bring a criminal prosecution against the schools organisers.

Had the weather forecast been for glorious weather, like we had for the start of the month, then leading a group of excited children into a very remote area of Southern Wales would have been a big adventure.

Setting a date, and sticking to it religiously, come what may, was more than foolhardy.

When i lived in South Wales a few years ago, i rarely went near the Carmarthen Vans, or Black Mountains, simply because of the terrible boggy ground, and the hopeless navigation in bad weather.

A few miles beyond Mc Turks farm, on the Craig Y Nos road, i went waist deep into boggy ground on my way to Llandeusant.

Leading a large group of school children into very desolate country, in terrible weather, is negligence in the extreme.

Hope everything turns out fine, but this was a MRT callout that was totally unnecessary.
« Last Edit: 16:15:11, 29/06/16 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

sussamb

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #4 on: 16:14:52, 29/06/16 »
I totally disagree.  Without knowing the facts how can you possibly say that?!
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Wayne s

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #5 on: 16:18:33, 29/06/16 »
They were on a DoE course so should have basic equipment at the very least, apart from being wet I should imagine they will all be fine.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #6 on: 16:22:19, 29/06/16 »
By the fact that the large group of children have been reported missing, in a very desolate area of the Western fringes  of the national Park, can only mean the organisation was at fault.
Leading even a small group of children, no doubt totally inexperienced in the open mountains of Wales, takes an awful amount of organisation and knowledge of the area and terrain.

A group as large as 24, is a huge undertaking,especially when certain members of the party may have found the going extremely tough compared to others.


I know the Carmarthen Vans extremely well, and unlike Pen Y fan and the Central Beacons, the weather there seems twice as hostile, simply because the ground and terrain is deep bogs, and few navigable paths.


Duke of Edinburgh awards, or whatever, the weather forecast was evidently dire, and bad enough to challenge the military,let alone novice school kids.

It simply comes down to choice of terrain, taking a large party of school children into one of the less frequented areas of the Brecon Beacons, in the worst weather imaginable, was most unwise.
« Last Edit: 16:27:30, 29/06/16 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

phil1960

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #7 on: 16:24:47, 29/06/16 »
Very sketchy details at the moment so pointless drawing any conclusions. If there any recriminations then I'm sure they will happen later, but first priority is that everyone is ok. I've turned back myself up there before now in deep snow, but we don't know the circumstances yet in this instance.
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phil1960

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #8 on: 16:32:41, 29/06/16 »
3 of the 4 groups have been found, no details on condition, all from Hertfordshire
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Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #9 on: 16:34:31, 29/06/16 »
We must all agree, navigation in the Camarthen Vans is tricky to say the least, even in good weather.
Both the Black Mountains near Llanthony, and the Carmarthen Vans above llandovery, attract some of the worst weather imaginable, so bad in fact, that they are the chosen training ground of most of the special forces from around the World.


It goes to show, Hertfordshire is another world and place compared to sleepy South Wales, lack of preparation and knowledge of the location to be used, and above all, the unwillingness to cancel the event.


Granted accommodation and transport has to be organised well in advance, with the associated cost involved, if one cancels at short notice, but carrying on, when the weather forecast dictated extreme caution, was most unwise.





« Last Edit: 16:41:13, 29/06/16 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

sussamb

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #10 on: 16:40:07, 29/06/16 »
By the fact that the large group of children have been reported missing, in a very desolate area of the Western fringes  of the national Park, can only mean the organisation was at fault.

Rubbish  ::)

Sorry, but unless you want DofE expeditions to be so benign to be pointless you have to accept occasionally things go wrong.  I don't want to see the day when everyone has to be wrapped up in cotton wool.  As I've said, we don't know the full circumstances yet but I'd be very surprised if anyone is at fault.
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phil1960

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #11 on: 16:58:32, 29/06/16 »
They were apparently in 4 groups of 6 and are teenagers. The llyn and it's neighbour Llyn y Fan Fawr, also the ridgeline above are fine, it's the moorland to the north and south which can be a wilderness in mist with some dodgy areas, but let's wait for the details.
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phil1960

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #12 on: 17:05:36, 29/06/16 »
All now found, rescue helicopter found the. They are now saying it was 26 children not 24, but all are either off the mountain or on their way down, result  :)
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altirando

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #13 on: 17:54:53, 29/06/16 »
Seem to remember this sort of situation before, in that area.  Can not understand why this is thought to be a good place for a group of young inexperienced children.  Isn't it used for testing commandos?  Somewhere like the Clwyd hills would surely be better, very defined route, short escape routes in case of weather change or health problems and better scenery. 

ninthace

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Re: Lost children
« Reply #14 on: 18:04:44, 29/06/16 »
Result indeed.  BBC says they became lost in cloud, some found their way out, others were rescued and hospital visits were only precautionary.


I wonder if each group had been given gps or Viewranger and instruction on how to use it, how much money and time might have been saved?


I don't  want to resurrect old arguments but failure to teach kids how to use modern hill navigation systems alongside traditional methods puts me in mind of the good old days when I was teaching nuclear physics to the military. Pocket calculators were beginning to become affordable but we still only taught them how to do the sums on a slide rule.  I wonder how many folk know how to use a slide rule today?
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