This man was reported missing the previous evening but the information was vague. A Team vehicle and one from Patterdale MRT tackled the road (blocked by snow) and found nothing. He eventually walked down to Ambleside Police station. The moral of this story is, if you leave your "Route Card" on someone's answering machine, make sure it's one that is working, and if you're going to rely on a snowhole for shelter, make sure you do it on a night when a rapid thaw doesn't take place.
This was becoming one of those days. A party of two split on the fell above Codale Tarn. They failed to re-unite. The inexperienced one found his way down to their car, in Grasmere, and reported his experienced friend missing. This man eventually reported in at Keswick Police Station Fortunately only his pride was hurt.
These two people set off late in the morning to walk the Fairfield Horseshoe. They failed to return for their evening meal as expected. A search was started, with help of Patterdale MRT They were eventually located between Heron Pike and Nab Scar. They were very cold and apparently resigned to their fate. Again, no winter equipment or survival gear meant they were very lucky. It is unlikely they would have survived more than a couple of hours.
We were asked by Kendal Team to search Troutbeck and our side of Garburn Pass after a man was reported overdue. He was last seen at 4pm. He eventually turned up at his holiday cottage at 22.15. He was going to get some advice on the merits of setting off earlier or taking a torch, but we left him to fend off his wife and mother-in-law instead.
A number of reports of shouts for help and flashing lights were heard and seen in this area. We searched across some very rough ground and found nothing. Who ever had been there had either sorted themselves out, or had never actually been in too much trouble. Still, it kept us occupied for a couple of hours.
Four separate reports of flashing lights in the vicinity of Kirkstone quarry led us to believe that something was amiss. A group was dispatched to investigate and a passing helicopter dropped in for a look. The helicopter crew, using their night vision goggles spotted the lights and went to investigate. They found two men, trying to hide, in combat gear and with guns. They left them to it and reported the matter to the police. The Team members sent to investigate were greatly relieved not to have got there first.
A man reported himself lost somewhere on Crinle Crags. We had great difficulty getting back to him on his Italian mobile phone, but eventually managed to speak to him. He was using the GPS on the same phone and was unable to operate the GPS and phone simultaneously. He convinced us he was near the southern end of the Crags, but an extensive search failed to locate him. Having exhausted all reasonable possibilities, using 3 mountain rscue teams and 5 search dogs, we eventually had to call the search of, with him still unlocated.
14 team members for 9 hours, plus Wasdale, and Kendal MRTs and SARDA
OS Grid Reference
A solo man was reported overdue at home. His route card left at home suggested an epic walk, and didn't narrow things down much. With the assistance of Keswick and Furness MRTs and SARDA Lakes he was located by a dog in Rossett Ghyll, benighted. He thought he was on The Band, this being a lot closer to his actual location than some other people we have retrieved this year. No amount of debriefing from us was going to assist him through the "debrief" he was going to get when he got home.
A Father (41) and Son (21) were reported overdue at home. A search was organised with the help of Keswick MRT and SARDA Lakes. They were eventually located by LAMRT on Gunson Knott. They were cold and benighted. Team members stocked them up with hot drinks and food and they were escorted off the hill at first light. Last heard on the phone to home promising to never go walking in the winter again!
A voluntary patient from a London Hospital took trip to the Lakes. Her bag was found in Grasmere, with a suicide note. A search was mounted. She was located, semi conscious, by a SARDA handler and his dog, and then treated for Alcohol, Barbiturate and pain killer overdose.
A search was organised, with assistance from SARDA, to locate a man who was reported as several hours overdue from his walk. He turned up as Team Members were being deployed on the fells. His dogs short legs was cited as the reason he was late back.
We were alerted to the presence of an abandoned push chair, with baby paraphernalia, on the banks of the river, in an isolated spot. Fearing the worse, a search was made of the river bank and the river, with the help of the Lake Warden and his boat. Nothing was found, but after about two hours the owners turned up. They had been for a stroll up Loughrigg. They were a little bewildered by the fuss, until we discovered that they were employees of El Al, and compared the incident with finding an abandoned suitcase at an airport.
We just love these late night excursions into the mountains. They are good for the soul. Two young men had phoned home to tell their Mother that they had become benighted, but were O.K and would make their way down at first light. She wasn't prepared to wait this long and phoned the Police. This was a joint operation with Keswick MRT.
The team was requested to extend the area of the previous day's search for the same man. With help from Coniston and Furness MRT, Windermere Lake Warden, and Police divers we did this, and still found nothing. The man is still missing at the time of writing (January '99).
A woman reported her husband overdue at their rendezvous, the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, after his walk in the fells at the end of Langdale. She had dropped him off at the ODG that morning and was to meet him there at around 4pm that afternoon. After being 3 1/2 hours overdue, she reported the matter to the Police. A team member went to the "Old" to interview the woman to get more information, and located the missing man in the bar of the ODG, exactly where he was supposed to be.
An 8-year-old French boy got separated from his Aunt and Uncle on the summit of Pike O'Blisco. Firstly, we had to find his Aunt and Uncle, who where still on the fell and then found the boy, on the road near Chapel Stile. This, in case you didn't know, is some distance from Pike O'Blisco!