Incident Report #95 2006

The team were contacted by the Police about three men who had been reported overdue at their Ambleside guesthouse. Their car had been traced at Old Dungeon Ghyll car park and they had left information saying that they were going up Scafell Pike. They hadn't returned. The Police managed to track down the wife of one of the men, who said that her husband was diabetic, and had left an answering machine message at 20.20 stating that they had been forced to take shelter on their way back from Scafell and were 'freezing', but would make their way down in the morning. The woman was, however, very concerned about her husbands welfare with respect to his diabetes. After consultation with the team's GP it was decided that we should go and look for them. (I'll pause briefly here, while you go and get a cup of tea, because this story goes on while). We had tried the men's mobile numbers repeatedly up to this point, but only got answering machines. Keswick and Wasdale MRTs and SARDA were requested to assist, because we didn't know the men's position at this point. However, as we were getting things organised we receive a phone call from one of the men. They had become very cold and had decided to try and find their way down. We agreed to go and meet them, having established that they were near Allen Crags and heading for Rossett Ghyll. A small group set off up Rosset Ghyll to rendesvous. The weather was appalling, with very strong gusts of wind and torrential rain. We struggled across swollen becks and eventually got up to Angle Tarn without making contact. We continued up and eventually located them not far from their original position. It was 3.30am by this time. One was suffering from hypothermia and the other two were very cold. They were given hot drinks, food and spare, dry clothes and cajoled into moving. We were making very slow progress, with one of them suffering form very stiff legs, and as we soon discovered, rapidly and dangerously rising blood sugar! Other team members arrived at this point, and we were able to split into two groups, one moving considerably faster than the other. The lead group arrived back at our vehicles in Mickleden at 5.30am, while the others were trying to manage the man's blood sugar and keep him moving much higher up the fell. At this point a decision to call out the full team was made to continue to evacuate them man by stretcher. The man was finally brought back to Ambleside around 9am. It had been a very long and wet night!

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