Incident Report #63 2012

A group of three were reported overdue on the Coast to Coast. In gathering information at the start of proceedings, it became apparent that this same party had been in the same situation the previous night, where, amongst other things, a mountain rescue team member suffered a serious ankle injury during the search for them. A search was organised for the party, with help from Lakes Search Dogs and Keswick MRT. Thankfully, they were located quite quickly, off-route in Wythburn. The 75-year-old male in the party had sustained an lower leg injury. There might have been slightly more sympathy for the group if this wasn't the second injury, the first having been sustained the previous day, and subsequently ignored while taking the decision to continue. The party were taken to our base in Ambleside, where the man was examined by paramedics, who subsequently took him to hospital for further examination. It was expressed in the strongest possible terms that we didn't feel that this party should make any attempts to continue their route, being neither equipped, fit enough, nor capable of making the sensible decisions required.... Only time will tell if they decided to follow this advice. It is rare for team members to become angry or frustrated with our casualties, but this was one of those occasions.. a number of team members removed themselves from the room, because they could no longer listen to the list of excuses for their situation. Things they did wrong: Setting off on the day with an obvious injury that was not going to repair itself. Using a guidebook to navigate rather than maps (and blaming the descriptions in the books for their errors), and having only one torch in a party of three (one more than the previous day!). Mountain rescue teams to the east.. beware!
Man Hours
9 team members for 3 hours, plus Lakes Search Dogs, plus Keswick MRT
Incident Type
OS Grid Reference
Unique Incident ID
Safety Tip

Be prepared to change your plans

Make sure you allow enough time to complete your walk and that it is within your capability. Be prepared to change your plan if things aren't going well.