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Incident No: 64 2017

Date: 10 December
Time: 11.58hrs
Location: Auchope Cairn, College Valley

The third incident this week led to the Team being deployed to the College Valley. A relative of a walker reported that they had been tracking the walker’s phone and indicated that the ‘phone ping’ had remained in the same location for 24 hours. She was clearly concerned for the walker’s wellbeing and contact was duly made with the Police.

Northumbria Police activated North of Tyne MRT and ourselves just before midday on Sunday. As we went to standby and the National Police Air Support service attended, a hasty party of local Team members was despatched to the College valley. Two vehicles were also despatched in support.

Soon after it was decided to call out the full team as we were uncertain NPAS could reach the location of the ‘phone ping’ due to cloud lying over The Cheviot. The Teams were to RV in Wooler to give us the option of deploying search groups from Wooler Common, Harthope valley and College valley.

Border Search & Rescue Unit were also placed on standby.

Unfortunately (or fortunately!) not long after the callout message it became apparent that our missing walker had more than likely spent the night at the Mounthooly bunkhouse and had left in the morning, fit and well. Once this information was confirmed, the majority of Team members were stood down.

The hasty party was requested by the Police to conduct a limited search in and around the location of the ‘phone ping’, which by now had been confirmed as being on the northerly slope of Auchope Cairn, just below the summit. After a hasty search of the lower to mid section of the Hen Hole and the route from Auchope shelter to Auchope Cairn had been conducted, with nothing found, the hasty party headed back to our Land Rover in the valley. Soon after it was confirmed that the walker had returned to Mounthooly having walked to Windy Gyle and back, totally oblivious about what had been going on.

A well meaning incident. Thankfully nobody was at risk and the walker was accounted for at the end of the day.

We’d like to thank, once again, the College Valley Estate for their assistance.

The incident involved 8 Team members for 6 hours 30 minutes. Another 16 members were en-route to Wooler when they were stood down.


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Incident No: 52 2017

Date: 16 October 2017
Time: 09.55hrs
Location: Auchope Shelter, Pennine Way

As one of our incident controllers was liaising with Northumbria Police regarding incident number 51, more details to follow, a second request for support came in. This time for an injured female walker who had spent the night in the Auchope Mountain Refuge Hut. The female had been walking the Pennine Way and on descending from Auchope Cairn on Sunday had damaged her ankle. Being well equipped she decided to spend the night in the shelter before trying to finish her journey the following day.

Unfortunately with the prevailing weather and the state of her ankle, the walker rightly requested help from Mountain Rescue. North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and ourselves responded from the College Valley and Border Search & Rescue Unit from Sourhope Farm on the Scottish side of the border. We were assisted by the College Valley Estates, once again, with the use of one of their ATVs.

The walker was ultimately evacuated down to Sourhope Farm by the Border’s team.


Having got so close to completing the Pennine Way, we hope the female makes a swift recovery and returns to complete the last few miles.


The incident involved 18 Team members for 2 hours 20 minutes.

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Incident No: 10 2017

Date: 2 March 2017
Time: 18.45hrs
Location: Border Ridge

At 18.30hrs yesterday Police Scotland requested the assistance of Border Search & Rescue Unit to locate two Danish walkers on the Border Ridge. The walkers were believed to be between Auchope Cairn and Windy Gyle.

The teams south of the border – North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and ourselves – were alerted by BSARU. One of our controller group sent a SARLOC message to the walkers. Thankfully this time it worked – the poor mobile reception in the area affects whether the system works.

Armed with the exact location it was agreed to despatch a group from the north side of the border to locate and evacuate the walkers. The walkers were swiftly located and walked off the hill to a waiting ATV. They were cold, but otherwise no worse for their ordeal.

As you’ll see from the SARLOC fix below the walkers weren’t too far away from the location of the 10 walkers involved in Incident No.8.


The incident involved 4 Team members for 2 hours 30 minutes.


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