Incident Reports 2009
A local man slipped on ice which caused a nasty ankle injury. An ambulance was called but was delayed as it was coming from Coniston. Passing team members fetched medical equipment from our base. The casualty's pain was managed and his leg was splinted before handing over to the ambulance service.
A woman sustained a fractured ankle in a sledging accident. She was treated by team members and evacuated by stretcher. She was then transported to Ambleside, from where she was transported to hospital by RAF helicopter, along with the previous casualty. The road conditions did not permit the ambulance to transport either casualty.
We were requested to provide assistance and water safety equipment during a search for a man missing from his boat on Windermere. A body was located by Police shortly after the search was stood down due to darkness.
While the previous rescue was in full flow we were alerted to another incident involving a 16-year-old girl from a party of 13 who had fallen around 100metres down the fellside while the party were descending from Yoke. She suffered head, neck, chest and leg injuries. Other team members, not already involved with the previous rescue were dispatched, and along with a request to Kendal MRT and the helicopter to assist.
A 59-year-old man suffered a suspected heart problem, with chest pains and nausea reported. The team was dispatched immediately, along with a request for a helicopter to attend. There was a little confusion as to the location, with it given as Hanging Knotts, but the grid reference given put it on the north summit of Bowfell. The latter was correct. The helicopter arrived on scene first, and airlifted the man to hospital, while team members located the rest of the party, and walked back down with them.
The team continued to provide support to Police and Ambulance, but with water levels receding and work to clear road access continuing, we were able to reduce our commitment, the final job being to transport a District Nurse to a home visit in Chapel Stile at 9am.
Access continues to be difficult to some areas, with floodwater still present and extensive damage to many road surfaces and edges. The cleanup will take some considerable time.
With considerable difficulty getting about due to continued flooding and consequent damage, the team continued to provide backup and support to local Police and Ambulance. With many local roads still impassable
It rained, like it has never rained before. Many people woke up to extensive flooding. Homes and businesses were flooded, cars washed away, boats sank and many people stranded. The local ambulance station was completely flooded. Ambulance, Police and Fire Service all spent the day operating from our base,
A pair of walkers reported themselves in difficulty as mist descended. They thought they were between Harrison Stickle and Pike O'Stickle. With darkness approaching it was decided that a quick daylight search was the order of the day. The were located (in the dark) between Thunacar Knott and High Raise (!) and escorted to the valley floor.
During the preliminary checks on the previous incident, a police officer spotted some lights on Blake Rigg which appeared to be people struggling to find a way over difficult terrain. Additional team members were sent to investigate, but it became clear that there was probably nothing wrong when all the lights suddenly moved uphill en-mass. Probably trainees on a night navigation exercise.
A man was reported as overdue from his walk on Crinkle Crags by his wife. Enquires were made and while a small team were making some preliminary checks of the road and parking places, a phone call was received from the man saying he was OK, but it was unclear due to poor reception where he was. A second call was later received from Brotherilkeld, Eskdale, to say he was safe and well. The search was called off and he was returned to his car.
A solo male reported himself as cragfast on Jack's Rake. The team was deployed, but recalled shortly afterwards, the man having been assisted by two others who had come across him struggling. With their assistance he was able to get to safer ground and continue to the top.
A 64-year-old male slipped on very wet ground and sustained a reoccurrence of an old knee injury. He was treated by team members and stretchered to the valley floor, from where his companions took him to hospital in their own transport.
A group of walkers came across a man who had slipped and sustained a suspected lower leg fracture. He couldn't have got much further up! They stayed with him until we arrived. A helicopter was requested to assist
While the previous rescue was ongoing we were made aware of a group of 9 with one torch and 8 glow-sticks(!) had gone to ground on steep ground in the vicinity of Esk Hause. A small group was detached from rescue 106 to do a check at Esk Hause and Esk Pike. They weren't found on this preliminary search so a larger search was organised involving Keswick MRT and SARDA, and they still weren't located. Over the course of the night more information was gathered and they were eventually located at Ore Gap, having descended from the Bowfell area at 11am.
A female participant from a large walking party slipped and sustained a lower leg fracture on the path from Esk Hause above Angle Tarn. She was located and treated, then stretchered off. The descent of Rossett Ghyll with a stretcher is a difficult and strenuous one, and the drive out of Mickleden is very rough. Unfortunately our casualty didn't take the rough ride in very good grace and was rude and grumpy. We'll put that down to the circumstances and won't hold it against her. Her companions were very nice.
We were requested to attend a woman with an ankle injury near Easedale Tarn. As we arrived at the bottom of the hill, we were informed that we had been overtaken by the Air Ambulance and the woman was on her way to hospital.
A group of three were reported overdue at Grasmere on the Coast to Coast walk. We were requested to assist Keswick MRT, along with SARDA, to search for them. They were located by Keswick MRT at Flour Ghyll, near Greenup Edge, unhurt, and escort from the fell
A 76-year-old solo walker became cragfast when he strayed from the path while climbing Harrison Stickle. His detour took him onto an area of vertical rock and dripping gullies. After a bit of hunting around he was located, and with some considerable technical difficulty, evacuated to safe ground, from where he was accompanied to the valley floor. He was given a lift back to his accommodation, the delay having caused him to miss the last bus! We were also complicit in a lie, to stop this gentleman being grounded by his Granddaughter. If anyone asks, we've never met!
Having dealt with the previous debacle we were called upon again with a report of a woman and 11-year-old boy overdue from a walk from Crinkle Crags. They were located during initial checks of the valley bottom, having made a navigational error, and coming down in the wrong place. They had been delayed by this, but were located en-route back to Ambleside.
In what must rate as one of the most ridiculous situations we have found ourselves on for quite some time, we found ourselves hunting down various members of a group who were incapable of organising themselves and taking responsibility for their actions. Initially a group of four were delayed when one of them had a minor fall, subsequently causing darkness to become a problem. One of them reported themselves on 'the path from the tarn to Chapel Stile'.
A party of 10 split at Great Knott, with the faster 5 continuing part of their intended route Crinkle Crags and coming down The Band. The slower group were reported overdue at 18:30, after it became obvious that they hadn't returned to their parked car. The group was of mixed age, youngest 11-years old and the oldest 69-years-old. A search was organised, with assistance from Wasdale MRT, Duddon & Furness MRT and SARDA. During the planning stage, another phone call was received via the police, reporting two people sheltering in a tent in Lingcove Beck.
A party of three males, including a 13-year-old boy became benighted when they ran out of daylight, having earlier made a navigational error that had taken them into Upper Esk area. They were clearly not going to get any further in darkness without torches so we went and got them. We were accompanied by team Search Dogs Kitt and Beinn, with Kitt arriving at our casualties first, thereby claiming her first 'locate'. The group were escorted to the valley floor and reunited with their car.
Shouts for help were reported in the region of Raven Crag. An investigation revealed hounds and followers making their way across the top of the crag. At the time they were initially heard they were out of sight beyond the skyline. False alarm with good intent.
A woman was reported overdue when she failed to return home at the expected time. There was concern for her welfare, so a search was organised. SARDA were called as well, and she was located around midnight, by a dog handler, with a minor leg injury. She was returned home.
A couple phoned for help after losing their way on Long Top. They were given directions but were unable to contact us further to confirm if they had found their way down. A check was made for their car, to see if they'd left the valley. We were unable to find it, so came to the vague conclusion that they had made their way off, and for some reason were unable to contact us. We were contacted the following morning to say that they'd camped in the valley, and hadn't received the message until they left.
A male with as suspected dislocated shoulder was reported on Pavey Arc. The air ambulance was en-route and we were requested to attend in case they couldn't access the casualty. As it transpired, they were able to complete the evacuation, so we joined the audience at the Langdale Folk Festival, which was raising money for the Fix the Fells project, and SARDA Lakes.
Cumbria Police passed on details of a very truncated request for mountain rescue. Very little additional information was forthcoming. Tracking of the phone call suggested it originated in the Skelwith Bridge area, with a large margin for error. A rapid search of the footpaths and river bank in the area was organised, with nothing found. While this was going on we became aware that Coniston MRT had received a similarly vague call from another mobile number. They were also carrying out a search to try and locate their casualty, who had been reported ashaving a leg injury.
Called direct from the hill by another MRT member who had come across a male with a suspected leg fracture. Team mobilised only to discover that someone else had phoned via the 'normal' means and Keswick MRT had also been mobilised. The injured man lay on the boundary between the two teams, so we left them to it. Subsequently the injured man was recovered by air ambulance.
A young man sustained a serious ankle fracture when he slipped on a steep wet slope. He was treated by team members and stretchered to Grisedale Hause, from where he was evacuated to hospital by air ambulance.
Two people phoned for help after becoming lost and unable to find a way off Loughrigg. Uncertain of where they'd started from, and without a map, they didn't really help themselves. Poor mobile phone signal made assisting them a little frustrating, but eventually they found a way off.
A family group of 5 ground to a halt, struggling with one torch, a dodgy knee, fatigue and cold, after a navigational error caused them a significant delay, on an already long day. They phoned for help, were located by team member, and assisted from the fell. All in bed by 4am.
A young couple became benighted and slightly lost. The female quickly became cold, and unable to continue. After a bit of guess work and a long walk, they were located near the summit of High Raise, and assisted down to Grasmere.
A solo male phoned for help after becoming cragfast, after a passing shower rendered the rock he was climbing very slippery. The team were en-route when we were informed that he had been assisted off the crag by two passing scramblers. \"Unsuitable\"" footwear (his words) will have played a significant part in this incident. "
A 39-year-old woman collapsed with severe abdominal pain. A teenage family member ran down a steep dirt bank to help her and slipped, sustaining back, neck and knee injuries. Both were treated and stretchered to waiting ambulances.
A 14-year-old female on an activity holiday suffered a serious and prolonged asthma attack. She was treated initially by her instructors, then by the team, before being evacuated to hospital by helicopter from RAF Valley. Did we get wet...of course we did!
While we were dealing with incident 72 this happened. Another woman sustained a lower leg injury at Angle Tarn. This incident was dealt with initially by team members diverted from incident 72, backed up by team members from Kendal MRT. A long, hot, sweaty day was had by all, ended with a healthy crop of midge bites. All in a days work.
A woman sustained a lower leg injury when she slipped at the top of Dungeon Ghyll. While our initial response was under way we were made aware of incident 73. Our resources were split and we continued with this rescue, splinting the injury and stretchering her down, assisted by Kendal MRT.
Four young women had spent the night in a tent up near Sprinkling Tarn. When trying to find their way down in the morning they became lost. In conjunction with Keswick and Wasdale MRTs we searched for them. They were located by Keswick MRT and escorted to the valley.
A couple phoned for help when one of them sustained a knee injury and the became lost while trying to return from Scafell to Langdale. Only minimum information was received before contact was lost. After some discussion it was decided that a search should be organised. Along with Wasdale MRT and SARDA a search was planned. Further contact with the two meant that we could determine their position more accurately, and it was decided that they were descending to Wasdale via Styhead Tarn, at which point we went home and left Wasdale MRT to tidy up loose ends.
A family group became separated, with one party becoming lost. Their phone call came to us via the Isle of Man, enjoying a brief holiday en-route. Contact was made with the group and it was established that they had reunited and were now confident that they could find their way down. The Bad Step diversion strikes again!?
A man fell into the gorge below Wrynose Bridge while attempting to take a photo. He was extracted by the team and airlifted to hospital by air ambulance, with leg injuries. Rumours of a beautiful photo of the sky are yet to be confirmed.
The remainder of the group was being assisted down, when a second member of the group succumbed to a similar problem. She rapidly became too weak to continue and a stretcher and additional team members were requested to evacuate her to the valley. About this time we enjoyed a brief but violent thunder storm; something that always enlivens any rescue.
A young woman was reported as suffering from prolonged vomiting while on a camping expedition. A helicopter was requested to assist and she was airlifted from the fell, after being treated by team members
We were requested to attend a man who was suffering chest pains near Angle Tarn. We were overtaken by an air ambulance while en-route, and it was confirmed that he had been evacuated to hospital by them.
A 58-year-old man was reported as having breathing difficulties, and with tingling sensation in one arm. The team was dispatched, and assistance form the Air Ambulance was requested. With team members on the hill, it eventually became obvious that, despite communication difficulties, the man had been picked up by the helicopter and evacuated to the pub! It took most of us considerably longer to get back to a decent supply of fluids! It's probable that the man's condition wasn't as serious as first reported.
Walkers reported a sheep stuck in a bog on Wansfell. Two team members, walking in the area, investigated and found a sheep stuck in a bog. Equipment was brought up to allow people to get on to the bog surface without sinking, and the sheep was hauled out. It failed to express any noticeable gratitude, and ran of followed by its hungry lamb.
A 62-year-old man suffered from suspected heat exhaustion while walking the ridge as part of an organised group. He was treated by team members and then assisted to where the Great North Air Ambulance had landed. He was evacuated to Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle
A 76-year-old man was reported overdue from a walk in the Grasmere area. A search was organised, and team members and search dog handlers were being deployed when we were informed that he had managed to make his way into Langdale via a steep, unidentified gulley, and was now safe at the roadside. The man was reported to have a medical condition that gave us cause for concern, and the weather had been hot and dry all day. Eight search dogs were involved.
An 80-year-old woman collapsed due to heat exhaustion. She was looked after by passersby initially, who gave her drinks, then treated by team members, and evacuated to the valley floor. A helicopter that had been requested to assist was stood down en-route, when she wasn't as ill as first thought.
We were requested to assist the ambulance service with a woman who had fallen in the river near Chapel Stile. When we arrived, she was out of the water, being cared for by quarry staff who had gone to help her.
We were requested by Keswick MRT to open our base to provide communication with a group of their team members who were evacuating a casualty down Far Easedale. Transport was also provided, but not required.
A 69-year-old male member of an American walking party sustained a sprained ankle. The party had made a good attempt to get themselves off, but eventually the pain became too much. He was treated by team members and evacuated to the valley for onward transport to hospital. There was some initial confusion, since the informant gave a misleading location.
More of the same. A party of two became disorientated on Crinkle Crags, having descended part-way down the west side, and then struggling to find the summit ridge path. Given instructions and advise to help locate Three Tarns. They eventually met up with another group, who were a little more certain where they were, and more importantly, knew the way off!
A group of 5 became split in poor weather when they separated in to two parts; one to go over the Bad Step and the other to go round. They failed to re-unite on Long Top. One group phoned the police for assistance. They were given directions and instructions to head for Three Tarns, were they managed to meet the rest of their party. Possession of a GPS was of limited use in these circumstances, because the party were only able to use it to tell us where they were, and not able to use it to get to where they wanted to be. The same applied to the map and compass they were carrying.
A couple of team members went up Far Easedale in a vehicle to check on the man reported with a head injury. He was located making his way down. He was assessed and given basic treatment before continuing on his way, having declined any further assistance.
A man sustained a lower leg injury when he slipped while descending. He was treated and evacuated from the hill. While assembling at the rendezvous point for this rescue a passerby reported another man, making his way slowly from Far Easedale, with a head injury. Kitt's first rescue as a qualified Search Dog. No one had the heart to tell her that we knew where he was!
Another woman was reported as having sustained an ankle injury on the descent from Stickle Ghyll. She was cared for by passersby, and then treated and evacuated to the valley floor for onward transport to hospital by ambulance.
A woman was reported as immobilised by an ankle injury. Unfortunately, their location was uncertain. A bit of detective work located them, and the injury was treated. Before we could evacuate the casualty, we were made aware of incident 42. The woman was evacuated by the team with help from team members arriving a little later, and a handful of team members who went across to help having concluded rescue 42.
Having sustained the injury, our team member was making a painful and valiant effort to get down with minimal assistance, but as a precaution a stretcher was requested to be brought up to meet the party. Luckily, the helicopter that had assisted earlier was able to return and airlift our team member back to Ambleside with dented pride and a swollen ankle. Injured team member assisted to RN rescue helicopter
A man walking the Coast to Coast with a small group suffered a lower leg injury. Some initial confusion over his location was cleared up, and we treated his injury. He was then evacuated by Royal Navy helicopter to West Cumberland Infirmary. We then set off with his walking partner to return to the valley. Unfortunately on the descent one of our team members sustained an ankle injury.
A couple reported themselves having difficulty finding their way of what they thought to be Great Rigg. They were given some directions and advice that should have led them in to the Rydal valley. We then lost touch with them, but had a reliable sighting of them in the Brotherswater Inn(!) later that evening. We eventually established that they had found their way off, and were safe.
A woman walking with her family suffered a recurrence of an old knee injury which meant she couldn't continue to walk. She was stretchered down to our vehicles and transferred to their own vehicle for onward transport to hospital.
A 57-year-old male fell around 20 metres from Jack's Rake, sustaining injuries to his head, face, arm and leg. He was initially cared for by a paramedic who witnessed the fall, then treated by team members, and evacuated to the valley for onward transport to hospital. Waiting for more help to carry the stretcher
Flashing lights were reported from the Nab Scar area. While trying to spot the lights and identify if there was a problem, team members came across a group who admitted to having just come of the hill, having had a late start and a long day, and who had come that way with one torch between them. No other lights were spotted, so we went home.
A man was hit by rock fall in Easy Gully. He sustained very severe injuries to his ankle. He was treated by team members, evacuated on a stretcher from the crag then airlifted to Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle. His uninjured young son was evacuated on foot to the valley bottom.
A male was reported missing and with a possibility of him self-harming, there was cause for concern for his safety. A complicated and protracted search ensued, where it was possible that the man was evasive, avoiding action. After much discussion and negotiation he was persuaded to come off the hill and into the care of the police. We were assisted by local SARDA dogs, and a tracking dog and handler from Bowland Pennine MRT.
That's 1st March, not April. A swan was reported in difficulty at Skelwith Force. The police had tried to contact the RSPCA in Preston, but were unable to get them, so contacted us. A small group went to investigate, retrieving it without too much difficulty, and liberating it to do whatever it is that swans do to fill their time. No arms were broken in the rescuing of this swan.
A family group of three went up to the Langdale Pikes area. They became lost after several attempts to find a way off. Although they had a map and compass and GPS, they were unable to use any. We were able to establish their altitude from the GPS, but it wasn't much use for anything else, since it wasn't set on British Grid. They were too cold and the process of setting the GPS up in any useful way was looking unlikely, so eventually located by the combined method getting them to take bearings to our vehicle lights in the valley bottom, and wonder-dog, Beinn.
A woman was reported missing following a domestic dispute while out walking with her husband. She had failed to turn up back at the car park. She was located walking to Windermere railway station, planning to catch the train home. Who said holidays were relaxing!
A pair of elderly walkers became separated from their family group. The remainder of the group made it down, but the other two were reported overdue. We assisted Patterdale MRT and SARDA with a search for them. They were located fairly quickly on the Patterdale side of the hill.
Two men became stuck on steep, frozen ground and were unable to up or down. They were following a route in a book, had no map, compass, torch, crampons or ice axe. There was inevitability about events. We were assisted by SARDA and Rossendale and Pendle MRT, who were in the area, and were co-opted from the pub.
Three men became stuck on steep, frozen ground and were unable to continue down. They were located by team members, roped together and escorted down via a series of steps cut by team members. Regrettably, the message that we have been trying to get out for several days seems to have fallen on deaf ears. They were not equipped for the conditions and seemed surprised by the fact that the snow had re-frozen once the sun was off it.
A man slipped and fell approximately 100 metres from the Climber Traverse on Bowfell. He sustained serious head injuries. His fall was witnessed by another man close by, who raised the alarm, and then went to assist. The team were mobilised to help, and a helicopter was requested to attend. Team members were airlifted in to the site and provided emergency care, along with the winchman. The man was then airlifted to West Cumberland Hospital. He received head, chest and hand injuries. He was well equipped.
A male walker was reported overdue by his wife. We were given a rough outline of his plan, and a search was organised. We were assisted at this stage by a helicopter from RAF Boulmer, and also SARDA and Kendal MRT. The search went on until 4am without success. We reconvened at 8am, this time with help from Keswick, Wasdale, Duddon and Furness, SARDA and Bowland Pennine MRT's and a helicopter from RAF Boulmer. Sadly, a man's body was located by helicopter in the late morning. He was recovered to West Cumberland Hospital, where he was confirmed as having died.
A male climber sustained a suspected lower leg fracture. In a determined attempt to get down, his climbing partner assisted him a significant distance, before the pain became too much. The team found him at the base of Rossett Ghyll and stretchered him from there. His perseverance is to be applauded. They were experienced and well equipped.
A number of people ended up together in a group after getting into difficulties in the frozen conditions. While trying to find a way off they got onto steep ground. At this point one of them slipped and fell several hundred metres, sustaining fatal injuries. He was evacuated from the fell by RAF helicopter. The rest of the group were evacuated over very difficult ground to safety.
A man slipped and fell approximately 100 metres from the Climber Traverse on Bowfell. He sustained serious multiple injuries. Two members of Keswick Mountain Rescue Team were fairly nearby, so were directed to the scene to assist while the team set off from the valley bottom. A helicopter was requested and arrived from RAF Boulmer. The man was stabilised and airlifted to West Cumberland Infirmary. His friend was assisted to the valley.
A man slipped, falling around 10 metres, and sustained a twisted knee and gashed hand. He struggled to get to a location where he could get a text message to his wife requesting help, and get some shelter from the weather. Initially he reported a suspected fracture, but he was able to make slow and painful progress down the hill. He was met by team members and assisted to the valley floor. We were assisted by Kendal MRT. Prolonged winter conditions experienced so far this year have been rare in recent years, however the message is the same as always. Be prepared.
A group of 4 became stuck in frozen conditions near the summit of Shelter Crags. One of them had slipped and was being prevented from falling further by a short length of rope. Her companions were unable to recover her. The group were located by search dog Beinn. She was recovered to safe ground, then escorted, along with the rest of the party, down The Band. Shortly after the start of this rescue, we were alerted to callout number 13 (see below). They were suffering fatigue, hypothermia and minor injuries.
Two men took the decision to descend from Link Hause to escape the frozen conditions they had found on the ridge. Unfortunately, while still high on the headwall, one of them slipped, avoiding his friends attempt to stop him. He fell several hundred metres, coming to rest above a small crag. He sustained fractured ribs, suspected fractured arm, and multiple other injuries. He was treated and stabilised by team members, then airlifted to Lancaster Royal Infirmary by RAF Leconfield. His friend was also airlifted, having suffered hand and facial injuries in his attempt to stop his friend.
We were requested to assist in a search involving a number of mountain rescue teams for a group of 6 struggling in dark, snowy conditions. Information suggested that they were poorly equipped for the conditions. They turned up while initial planning was being undertaken.
In atrocious weather conditions, the team was called to assist a man who had become separated from his walking companion. Unfortunately he was discovered fatally injured at the bottom of the ghyll, seemingly having fallen some 70 metres from the path. We had requested the assistance of an RAF SAR helicopter, but they were unable to reach us in the prevailing weather conditions.