17.09hrs, 23 January 2016
Two walkers had contacted Northumbria Police to say they were lost in Kielder Forest. From the information received they were believed to be near Chirdon Head on a drivable track.
As our incident controllers tried to establish a more accurate location using SARLOC and by talking to the walkers, the Police dispatched local officers in a 4×4 vehicle.
Our Team and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were put on standby and drivers tasked to pick up our vehicles.
Thankfully the walkers and their dogs were quickly located by the Police on a forest track and were transported back to their car. All safe and well.
A total of 3 members were involved for 35 minutes. A further 6 members were ready to be deployed.
18.40 hrs, 21 January 2016
Search Dog Tess got her first call out last night just 4 days after becoming operational. Northumbria Police requested our assistance after reports from the public concerned about a distressed female near Whitburn Golf Course.
We, alongside North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team, undertook a search of the area however the lady was not found.
She was last seen by the caller walking in the direction of Quarry Lane, returning to the path and heading towards the nature reserve. The woman was wearing a light coloured dress, black tights with a seam down the back, a hat with a rim around it and a scarf covering her face.
Anyone with information should contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 696 220116.
The incident involved 17 Team members for 5 hours.
05.55hrs, 16 January 2016
An early morning call from the Border Search & Rescue Unit this morning for possible assistance with evacuating a walker who had been found in a hypothermic condition on the Border Ridge. The casualty was re-warmed in the Auchope shelter on the Pennine Way before being evacuated.
Without a doubt the emergency shelter built by the Northumberland National Park with assistance from Mountain Rescue volunteers has once again helped to save another life.
A total of 20 Team members were on standby for just over 2 hours.
The road linking Rothbury and the New Moor House cross road for the A697 experienced some horrendous driving conditions for around an hour this morning; with a complete white out due to drifting snow. Up to 20 vehicles were stuck at various places along the road, which was then closed to prevent further vehicles getting stuck. The photo shows what the road was like shortly before the local Police requested our assistance and before it got really bad.
We mobilised one of our Land Rovers to drive the road from the A697 towards Rothbury, to check on the welfare of those stranded and to tow them to a point where they could make further progress. At the same time, the Northumberland National Park Authority mobilised one of their Land Rovers to do the same, but in the opposite direction; from Rothbury to the A697.
Shortly after both Land Rovers started travelling to the scene, the weather started to ease and a snow plough managed to clear the road allowing it to become passable again and re-open.
A yellow alert for snow remains in place for the rest of today and the hills are very white! Always check the forecast and equip yourself for the conditions.
A total of 4 Team members were involved for 50 minutes.
Well the clock has started again with the first incident of 2016. Two walkers and their dogs reported themselves lost in Thrunton Woods in the Callaly Crag and Hob’s Nick area.
The Police contacted ourselves and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team immediately to request assistance. A SARLOC message was immediately sent to one of the walker’s mobiles to try to ascertain their exact location. One of our controllers then rang the same number but it went to anasphone.
Two of our controllers then travelled to Thrunton Woods to liaise with the Police, whilst two others monitored MRMap in case the location of the walkers ‘pinged’ back. The walkers were, however, able to make their way safely off the hill to Callaly using the torch on their iPhone. As they descended mobile service was lost and hence why we could not contact them.
All ended well and we were back home in time for our Sunday dinner!
A total of 4 Team members were involved for 1 hour.
No sooner had two of our incident controllers returned from day 3 of the search for Sally Allan in Darras Hall, one of them took a call from Northumbria Police for an overdue walker. A walker in their 50s had been reported overdue in the Harthope Valley of The Cheviots by another walker who had spoken to the father of the overdue walker. The father was waiting in a car for his son’s return.
The Team along with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team was immediately put on standby whilst two of our controllers travelled to Langleeford Farm near Wooler to liaise with the Police. Having approached the valley from the north and south it was apparent that the overdue walker’s car was no longer in the area.
The well intentioned 999 call led to a swift response from the Police and Mountain Rescue. It looks as if the walker albeit overdue had returned to his car and is now making his way home with his father.
The incident involved 3 members for 1 hour.
At 18.00hrs yesterday, whilst North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and ourselves were assisting the Police with the search for Sally Allan, one of our incident controllers coordinated a limited response to an overdue and lost walker in the Simonside Hills. Having spoken to the walker, our incident controller was able to pinpoint his location. With great support from a local farmer, the walker was swiftly located and transported back to his vehicle. This left the Team to concentrate on the Darras Hall search.
The busy Christmas period for the Team continues with the search for Sally Allan from Darras Hall. The Team alongside North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were called by Northumbria Police at 15.45hrs on Boxing Day to assist in the search for Sally. The search will continue today with assistance from Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team.
Day one involved 22 Team members and one Mountain Rescue search dog for 7 hours.
The Team was stood down mid-morning yesterday from providing additional support to the flood event in Cumbria. The impact (thankfully) wasn’t as great as expected. Our water team remained on standby for flood related incidents in Northumberland throughout the remainder of the day, ready to assist Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service if required.
During this time the Team responded to two other incidents – details to follow – and we were also requested to provide assets to assist other MRTs and emergency services in York where flood defences had failed. Due to an ongoing incident in our operational area we are unable to respond at this time.
Plans are being put in place to deal with the potential of more flooding in Cumbria from Boxing Day onwards. The Team’s water trained members along with those from other MRTs in the North East have been put on standby. More details to follow.