"Let's all meet-up in the year 2000"; sang Jarvis Cocker. You know him; he did a couple of good songs and pointed out that Michael Jackson was an egomaniac. Anyway, before we got chance to do this we had to meet one more time in 1999 to go and rescue this woman from high above Slapestone Edge. She had lost the path and got stuck in decreasing daylight. She was reported as in difficulty by three separate parties, not one of which went to her aid. We located her and returned her to her accommodation, just in time to join the party!
Incident Reports 1999
A 54-year-old man had to shout for help after he slipped and sustained a suspected ankle fracture on the screes below Esk pike. He was treated at the scene and airlifted to West Cumberland Hospital by RAF Boulmer. The helicopter then very decently came back and carried team members down as well.
This 28-year-old man travelled all the way from Victoria, Australia, only to slip and sustain a suspected fracture of his lower leg. We treated him with the usual compassion, took advantage of his inability to escape by telling him bad jokes and then carried him down.
People leaving the New Dungeon Ghyll hotel observed flashing lights from the valley. When team members arrived, they also saw them. When they arrived on the summit to investigate, they found approximately eight people scattered around the few flat bits sleeping peacefully. They denied any part in any flashing light type antics, but there seemed little likelihood that anyone else was involved.
Two men on a sponsored walk were reported overdue. They were amongst 20 or so unaccounted for, but for some reason were causing the organisers concern, when the others weren't. We found them after a brief search. We went home quickly before the status of any of the others changed. The organisers had a great plan in place with respect to emergencies, but like all plans they work really well until you introduce people into them! Mountain Rescue Teams in the Lake District share a common dislike for sponsored events on the hills.
A 34-year-old-man from a party of three slipped while scrambling in a gully. He sustained spinal and wrist fractures, as well as suffering shock and cuts and bruises. He was stabilised at the scene and flown to Furness General Hospital by RAF Boulmer.
This location is becoming a favourite, and so are the circumstances. Lost in mist and unable to find their way off, this group of six used a mobile phone to ask for help. They were located by 'Paddy', a four-legged team member, and escorted off by some of our two legged team members. No one was injured. This was Paddy's first find.
The recurrence of an old knee injury meant that this 24-year-old man was unable to descend from Sergeant Man. We received slightly conflicting information as to his exact whereabouts, but eventually we found him and carried him off. Three members of RAF Leeming MRT who where in the area assisted.
A visiting senior policeman spotted a 'cylinder type' object under a stone and reported a bomb to Cumbria police. We (!) were sent to investigate and the Bomb Disposal people were alerted. We found the suspect device to be conventional smoke flare and carried it down. Everyone went home.
A man collapsed with what was reported as a leg injury. Our diagnosis was a heart attack and we treated it accordingly. The leg pain was a consequence of the heart attack, not the cause of the problem. He was airlifted to Furness General Hospital.
A 90-year-old woman, who walked regularly along the lakeshore, was reported overdue for her lunch. A small search was organised when she was located by two fell runners and taken home. She had slipped and sustained minor head, leg and wrist injuries.
Four separated parties met up on the summit of Long Top and phoned for help on a mobile when they became disorientated and frightened. A couple of fast team members were sent to locate them and start the descent, and a couple of ploddy ones followed up with more lights, hot drinks and a nameless chocolate bar to assist with the walk off. The worrying thing was that several of the party should never have been there in the first place, due to lack of experience.
The team members who had managed to avoid the previous incident, (and we know who they were) were sent instead to Grizedale Tarn to check for the source of whistles that had been heard by two descending climbers. A search with dogs and personnel found nothing, but we later found out that an incident had occurred and the party had self-evacuated.
If ever we wanted to get revenge for the wild goose chase we had been sent on by Kendal MRT on the previous incident, then tonight was sweet. (We didn't really want revenge; it wasn't their fault). In the blue corner was an 18 stone, 6'8" man with a suspected fractured ankle, teamed up with icy conditions and darkness, and a long way from civilisation. In the red corner were LAMRT and Kendal MRT trying to rescue him. We did it, but it was a close fought battle and nearly a draw. Those involved took three or four days to recover and walk normally again.
We were asked to assist Kendal MRT in the search for a 30-year-old man who had gone for a 'short walk' at 12.30 and was now well overdue. Information we received suggested he was in Kentmere, or Scout Scar near Kendal. He was eventually located at Sandside, a small village on the coast, (it's miles away from where we were looking!) so we all went home. You just have to be philosophical at times like this.
Patterdale MRT requested our assistance with the evacuation of a 24-year-old woman from Fairfield. We made our way up to the Tarn and met them there in atrocious conditions and helped carry down into Grizedale and on to Patterdale. A late night for all those involved.