On Wednesday a few of our Water Rescue First Responders and Water & Flood Incident Managers joined Northumbria Police’s Marine Unit down by the river in Chopwell Woods. The exercise was designed to demonstrate the use of different techniques in order to safely access and egress riverside locations to recover an injured or deceased person.
As part of the exercise we put to good use our technical rope rescue techniques.
Two Scene of Crimes Officers also joined the training session and gave input on forensic body recovery from water.
Monday 2 May, 14.05hrs
Right place, right time. On the Bank Holiday Monday one of our Team members happened across a group of nine walkers and two dogs on the Salter’s Road at the eastern edge of the Uswayford Forest. This is one of the more remote parts of our beautiful National Park.
The walkers stopped our Team member and asked for directions. It turns out that the group of walkers were intending to climb Windy Gyle having set off from Barrowburn. They were now a good 6km off course and were heading towards the Breamish valley!
Given the time a decision was taken by the Team member to shuttle the group back down the Usway valley to the track heading south to Barrowburn over Middle Hill. Thankfully his 4×4 was close at hand and meant for a swift transportation of the group.
The group then walked back the last few kilometres to Barrowburn having never made the summit of Windy Gyle. Our Team member waited at Barrowburn to see the group coming safely down the hill before heading home.
The actions of our Team member certainly avoided a search for the full Team later in the day.
The incident involved one Team member for 1hr 55mins.
Saturday 7 May, 17.10hrs
Whilst the rest of the country bathed in glorious sunshine, much of Northumberland including the Simonside Hills was covered in thick mist. The prevailing weather conditions led to two walkers becoming disoriented and eventually lost in the Simonside Hills.
The Team alongside North of Tyne MRT were activated late afternoon by Northumbria Police to assist in the search for the two walkers. From the information received the two walkers having ‘walked over the hill’ had taken shelter in a hut next to rough track. From this information we identified the likely location of walkers as being the two huts on the track between Harwood Forest and Hepple Whitefield – along the route of the Sandstone Way and Border County Ride.
Two Team members were swiftly despatched to drive the rough track up to Whitefield Hill. The walkers were located in one of the shooting huts with the gas fire on to warm themselves up. When we pointed out to them where they had ended up, they were somewhat surprised and very grateful we’d turned up!
A Police 4×4 was used to transport the walkers back to their car at Simonside Forest car park.
All ended well and in time for Team members to enjoy their Saturday evening.
The incident involved 8 Team members for 1hr 50mins.
Monday 2 May, 09.00hrs onwards
Following the incident at Kielder last Sunday, the next day the Team was providing rescue cover for the Shepherds Walks Coastal Challenge. A long day was interspersed with treating three walkers for a variety of ailments and injuries. Two of the walkers had to be evacuated in one of the Team’s Land Rover ambulances as they were unable to continue with the event.
Well done to everyone who completed the Coastal Challenge and in doing so helped raise funds for the Team.
A total of 8 members were involved for 10hrs.
Thanks North East Connected for publishing an article on us and the Dark Skies Marathon at Kielder Water & Forest Park.
Thanks to the Trail Outlaws for organizing the event and the 300 runners for running it; you have donated £1,400 towards the work of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team between you – it will be put to good use.
Sunday 1 May, 20.31hrs
Yesterday evening North of Tyne MRT and ourselves were contacted by Northumbria Police regarding a cyclist who was lost in the Kielder area. Indications were that the cyclist was near to Riccarton.
We tried SARLOC, a text message system used to locate missing persons, whilst the Police drove some of the roads and other resources were being mobilised. Border Search & Rescue Unit and Tweed Valley MRT were made aware of the incident in case additional support was required.
Unfortunately due to the poor mobile coverage SARLOC didn’t work. After half an hour though contact was made with the cyclist again and he confirmed he was on the road near Riccarton. A Police vehicle located the cyclist and transported him back to his start point at Kielder Water. All ended well.
The incident involved 2 Team members for 1 hour.
Wednesday 27 April, 20.26hrs
Yesterday evening Northumbria Police requested the Team’s assistance to locate a group of partially sighted walkers overdue in the Harthope valley near Wooler. A total of 19 walkers including their sighted guides were well over four hours late for their transport back to Wooler. They had set out to climb The Cheviot and return to the valley over Cairn Hill and Scotsman Knowe.
Given the wintery conditions on the hills, members from our Team and North of Tyne MRT were activated immediately. An advanced party, including two of our Incident Controllers, were on scene very quickly whilst the Team Landrovers and other members travelled to Langleeford farm.
On arrival at the farm, one of our Incident Controllers ascertained that all the walkers had managed to find their way safely off the hill. Other than being very tired from their long day, all the walkers were well.
A good outcome for all concerned. We hope they enjoyed their well deserved meal in the Red Lion!
A total of 21 Team members were involved for 1.5 hours.
Monday 25 April, 11.12hrs
The Team was called out by Northumbria Police today to assist in the search for a 46 year old Washington man. Alongside North of Tyne MRT, members were deployed in small search groups along the Coast to Coast cycle path and into the Princess Anne Park. A water search group was also deployed along the banks of the River Wear.
The Team’s were stood down when the man was reported to have been located outside of the search areas.
A total of 18 Team members were involved 6 hrs 50 minutes.
With only a few months to go in our 50th year we are well on our way to reaching our £50k fundraising target. To date you have helped raised just over £41k. These funds are being put to use… they are helping us to convert a trailer into a mobile control unit and store for our water kit, and to replace the laptops used by our controllers.
We are now seeking to raise funds to equip each of our 40 Team members with a high visibility rucksack cover. These are essential when working in more urban environments and at night to ensure our members are easily seen.
Each cover costs £20 and remember every little helps. DONATE HERE!
Please share this post with your friends to help raise awareness of what we do.
Last nights team fund raising Ceilidh went down a treat. A hall full of people both young and old were taught the steps and then left to dance to the wonderful sounds of the Whistling Sheep band.
Drinks were drunk, food eaten and raffles won and lost all in the name of supporting the teams work. Many thanks to the organisers Steve and Lesley for yet again another great evenings entertainment.
If you missed out on last nights entertainment make sure you keep checking our Facebook page and team website for future events.
Anyone who missed out on purchasing one of our fundraising buffs, they are available via post from;