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National park gets tough with twerps

Peneda-Gerês national park is fed up to the back teeth with what it diplomatically calls “negligent mountaineers” but which, between the lines, translate as twerps and twits.

As vice-president of the council running the park David Teixeira told reporters, the majority of rescue operations scrambled – often in terrible conditions – to locate ramblers and hikers come from said ramblers’ and hikers’ total lack of foresight.

In one, which took place earlier this year, rescuers themselves were put in danger trying to find people who had run into difficulties as they climbed one of the park’s mountains.

Thus Gerês’ new policy to charge for this type of call out.

Any rescues undertaken where “pure unconsciousness” is to blame will be charged to the person, or persons responsible.

The idea is already practised in Ilha do Pico (Azores), writes Correio da Manhã, where firemen charge €1,200 for call-outs that could sensibly have been avoided.

As fire chief Ricardo Dias told the paper: “Since the charges were adopted, we have registered a significant drop in the number of emergency calls”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com