Call for climbers to pay insurance

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The Independent Online
MPs are to investigate whether climbers should be forced to take out compulsory insurance to cover the cost of being rescued. The Scottish Affairs Committee will examine the idea of setting up a system similar to other parts of Europe, where walkers and climbers pay for being rescued through compulsory insurance policies.

But rescue teams and sports enthusiasts feel the present British system works well.

The cost of paying for rescues has been the focus of debate for years, particularly as last year brought record call-outs for many mountain rescue teams.

The RAF, which provides helicopters and mountain rescue teams, supports the system as it stands. A spokesman said: "We have no quibble with the present system because where life is in danger there is no question of cost."

The Scottish Sports Council said it would strongly oppose compulsory insurance, claiming the cost of policing such a scheme would be greater than present operational costs.