Search and rescue masterclass for Wigtown pupils

Pupils from Wigtown Primary School have learned all about map reading, navigation and search and rescue during a four session ‘Master Class’ hosted by Galloway Mountain Rescue Team.

Over three Friday afternoons, ten pupils learned how to use a map and compass, read maps and understand how these skills are used by mountain rescuers.

A fourth, final session put their newly acquired skills to test as they went out on a ‘mini’ rescue to find a ‘missing person’.

Mike Kneeshaw, from Galloway Mountain Rescue said; “Map reading and navigation is great fun for young people once they understand the basics.

“The pupils surprised us how quickly they picked up on how to interpret the maps, use grid references and navigational bearings.

“The final session demonstrated the technology available to mountain rescue and how we use GPS location systems to pinpoint missing persons who are lost. By combining the skills they had learned with map work, and the accuracy of GPS receivers, they had an enjoyable afternoon heading out to find the missing person who turned out to be my rescue team colleague, Ray McCutcheon.”

Kelly Devine, Head Teacher at Wigtown Primary said; “It was great to see the pupil’s enthusiasm for these classes. This was a great experience for them, and it was encouraging to see how quickly they grasped the ability to properly navigate.

“We really appreciate the time the mountain rescue team have given us and I’m sure they will have encouraged those who took part to continue their interest in map reading for the future.”

For more information about the voluntary activities of Galloway MRT including details of incidents, training, walk routes and much more, visit www.gallowaymrt.org.uk.