Stranded pair saved by chopper

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TWO walkers set fire to a map to attract the attention of a rescue helicopter when they became stranded on Derbyshire’s highest peak.

Mark Larden and his girlfriend Lisa got stuck in icy conditions during a trek up Kinder Scout in the Peak District.

ba060249a      Kinder Scout seen from Mam Tor

ba060249a Kinder Scout seen from Mam Tor

Mark, of Snape Hill Close, Dronfield, phoned a friend to raise the alarm before setting fire to a map to attract a circling rescue helicopter.

The 25-year-old said: “We could have died up there that night – it was absolutely horrifying.”

The pair were out walking on the plateau in preparation for a charity hike up Snowdon in May.

Despite being fully prepared for the trek, they were unable to scramble to safety after getting into difficulty in freezing cold temperatures.

Frightened Mark phoned his friend who alerted Edale Mountain Rescue Service and South Yorkshire Police. The force dispatched their helicopter.

Mark said: “We could see and hear the chopper but it seemed to be circling everywhere apart from over us.

“I realised the helicopter had thermal imaging cameras which can detect fires – so I got my map and set it alight.”

The couple were taken back to the helicopter’s base and treated by paramedics.

“I’d just like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped us,” added Mark.

Sgt Helen Scothern, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “The pair were suffering from being exposed to the severe cold but thankfully we were able to reach them and locate them before the consequences, and the weather, became more severe.”

Mark’s charity hike up Snowdon will raise money for the charity Sands after his twin boys, Kieran and Joel, died. To donate, go to www.justgiving.com/mark-s-larden.

l Do you have a dramatic rescue story? Email comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.