Having OS Maps downloaded to a mobile phone came in very handy for a walker who found himself completely stuck in mud on a cliff bank near Barton-on-Sea in Hampshire.
Aged 20, Barney Lee was seven weeks into a 6,000 mile-charity walk around the coast of Britain when he arrived at a beach between Barton and Highcliffe. Hoping to find a shortcut for the Mudeford ferry to Bournemouth, Barney followed footprints along a track which became wilder and less clear.
Barney slipped and fell down a bank, ending up halfway down the slope, knee deep in mud with one leg, and ankle deep with the other. With nothing to grab onto to haul himself out and no one answering his cries for help, beginning to get concerned Barney opened OS Maps on his device and found his exact location.
He raised the alarm to his parents and told them the co-ordinates from the app. His mother called the emergency services, passed on Barney’s location, and the coastguard called Barney back to confirm where he was. They arrived soon after and helped pull him out with a rescue sling. Barney escaped the mishap relatively injury free apart from suffering exhaustion and bruising to his knee.
Barney said: “It was horrible being stuck, but the OS Maps app really helped me out. I used it to pinpoint where I was and it did the job. I was relieved when the coastguard arrived. By the time they lifted me out I looked a bit like The Thing from Fantastic Four as I was covered with mud which had started to crack.”
Barney, from Derby, is in the middle of a 14-month quest named My Long Walk Around Britain. He is raising money and awareness for Hereditary Neuropathy with liability to Pressure Palsies (HNPP), a hereditary nerve condition Barney himself lives with.
His challenge began back in August when he started out from Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire. Barney is aiming to finish the epic ramble by next October. Throughout his journey, he has been relying on the OS Maps app to help guide him.
Barney said: “It’s been really good. I didn’t want to have to carry 800 or so different paper maps with me so to have the £30 subscription to the app has made things easier.
“I have been using it to plot out the next route and download them before I set off each morning. Just got to remember – stick to the path or bad things happen!”