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.
Last night the teams mechanic pixies were out repairing and maintaining the teams two Land Rovers in the comfortable surroundings of the Fire Station garage.
Even when the team members are not out training or rescuing there is still plenty to do to keep everything in readiness for the next outing.
Unfortunately the vehicles do not repair themselves and as team members are working during the day in their main jobs, some midnight oil has to be burnt!
There is so much work done behind the scenes to enable the team to turnout and perform when called for.
Yesterday afternoon our Water First Responders and Water Incident Managers were deployed by Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service. Our assistance was needed to evacuate a family of four whose farm house had been cut off by flood waters when River Tyne bursts its banks.
Having assessed the situation, the Team requested a Swiftwater Team with powered boat from Northumberland FRS as it was too dangerous to wade out to the house. A great joint effort then led to the safe evacuation of the family as river levels continued to rise.
The situation in the Tyne valley continued to deteriorate as the afternoon progressed and we only hope that river levels have reached their peak at least for a while.
The Team’s water first responders and water & flood incident managers are currently on standby for potential flooding events across Northumberland. The Team is ready to provide assistance and additional resources to Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service. We will be continuing to monitor weather conditions and river levels over the next 24 hours.
The Team has alerted other Mountain Rescue Teams in the North East to ascertain what other resources will be available.
At 12.30pm today the Team was requested by the North East Ambulance Service to assist with the evacuation of a 13 year climber. The young climber was with a school group when they sustained a lower leg injury.
The Team along with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team responded to the incident at East Woodburn crag and evacuated the casualty on a stretcher to the waiting crewed Ambulance on the nearby road.
12 Team members were involved for 1.5 hours.