After mountain rescue volunteers helped four hikers who had smoked too much marijuana off England's highest peak, some people say the men should be forced to pay for their own rescue.
The four hikers called local police for help after becoming stuck on Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain at 3,210 feet, north of Liverpool.
“Words fail us,” wrote exasperated police on Facebook. Officers called on volunteer mountain rescue team to help the men off Scafell Pike.
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Police spoke to the men about the incident, but no arrests have been made, The Guardian reported.
But a Facebook poster calling himself Samuel Coleridge, who identified himself as one of the hikers, called the reports “fake news” and said the group had only called for help after a hiker collapsed shortly before nightfall after smoking some marijuana on the trail. The man recovered and the group had already hiked nearly all the way back by the time they encountered the rescue team, he wrote.
Nevertheless, the posts on social media by police about the incident provoked a furious reaction, with some suggesting the hikers be asked to cover the costs of the rescue operation.
“I hope they see this thread and feel very ashamed of themselves (but i don't think they would really care) and have the decency to go groveling with an apology. Maybe MRT could show the pot-heads a real emergency so they can see what the teams are all about,” commented Facebook user Jackie Gwilliam.
Some suggested the rescue team should have left the hikers on the mountain, saying that rescue operations should focus on people genuinely in need of help.
“Leave the scum up there !!!!” commented Louise Ostle.
The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, the umbrella body for mountain rescue teams in Cumbria, commented that these kinds of call-outs were “becoming a joke.”
Another nearby police department responded that authorities must “always ensure people are safe, regardless of choices they make that put them in a dangerous position.”