THERE could have been a really serious incident over the New Year weekend, but thanks to technology and human spiritedness, a disaster was averted.

The occasion was that a walker had taken himself off into the Dales on a wild and windy New Year’s Eve day. He was stranded, cold and exhausted - and lost as it turns out.

Fortunately we have some ready, willing and able volunteers associated with cave and mountain rescue who are just a phone call away each and every day of the year and they were able to get out to the chap and help him.

Where the outcome may have been different was through technology pinpointing where his call was coming from. He rang emergency services stating he was on Whernside, near Horton, when instead he was sheltering on Great Whernside, several miles away near Kettlewell.

The Upper Wharfedale mountain rescue team sped off to bring him safely down.

Luckily for that chap, too, fellow walkers had found him and were assisting him, but our ever-willing and ever-accessible cave and fell rescuers deserve a round of applause for once again being at the end of a phone call to drop what they’re doing and risk their lives to help others.