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Incident No: 08 2017

Date: 12 February 2017
Time:15.02hrs
Location: Windy Gyle

The Team and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were activated by Northumbria Police yesterday afternoon. Initial reports indicated that 10 walkers and 2 dogs were stranded on Windy Gyle and two of the group were suffering from hypothermia.

Local Team members were deployed immediately to head up onto Windy Gyle. Additional members and resources from were also deployed along with a request for support from north of the Border. Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team and Border Search & Rescue Unit duly responded.

As members were nearing summit of Windy Gyle, further information suggested the walkers had headed east to try to locate some shelter. After 3.5 hours in challenging winter conditions the group of walkers were located. Team members had to wade through three to four foot snow drifts, sometimes even crawl, to reach the walkers’ location.

All the walkers were suffering from the effects of cold, with three requiring more urgent treatment and evacuation. A Doctor from TVMRT and a North East Ambulance Service Paramedic (and MR Team member) assessed all of the walkers. A Coastguard helicopter was requested and Rescue 999 from Prestwick made a valiant effort almost reaching the walkers’ location. Cloud on the tops and drifting snow, however, prevented further progress.

The back up plan was for the farmer from Rowhope in his tracked vehicle to transport the casualties requiring immediate evacuation down to the valley and for the remaining members of the group to be walked off by MR members. The plan was duly put into practice.

The walkers and Team members were all safely off the hill by 00.11hrs, Monday morning. A number were taken direct to hospital after a further assessment by the North East Ambulance Service and we hope they make a swift recovery from their ordeal.

Our Team Leader, Iain Nixon, said “I would thank all the agencies involved and in particular praise the efforts of the farmer from Rowhope, without whose assistance the rescue would have taken much longer. The collective efforts of all involved ensured a successful outcome.”

Tweed Valley MRT were also assisted by the farmer from Cocklawfoot with another ATV.

The incident involved 64 Mountain Rescue Team members from both sides of the Border for 10 hours 20 minutes.

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Casualty site on the NW corner of Hazely Law wood
Trackers of hill parties approaching from the South and North
Trackers of hill parties approaching from the South and North
Loading the first casualties in the ATV
Loading the first casualties in the ATV
Last Team members and kit making their way off the hill
Last Team members and kit making their way off the hill

 

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*** Incident No.56 **

Tuesday 27 September, 08.17hrs

Teesdale & Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team (TWSMRT) requested the Team’s assistance for what turned out to be a major search for a 40 year old grouse beater. The male went missing at 3.00 pm on Monday 26th September on Warcop Fell near the top of Lunedale County Durham. After searching for two hours without success his fellow beaters contacted the Police and Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team were contacted.

As time progressed realising that there was a huge potential search area help was requested from neighbouring MRTs, including TWSMRT. The search escalated overnight and in the early hours to involve teams from the Lake District Search And Mountain Rescue Association, the Yorkshire Dales Rescue Panel, the whole of the North East Search and Rescue Association, a RAF Mountain Rescue Team, 8 search dogs from the Search And Rescue Dog Association England and the Lake District Search & Rescue Dog Association, a and ourselves.

Conditions for searchers overnight were horrendous, and even in the daylight of Tuesday low cloud over the hills hampered the search.

As the weather improved and after a massive effort, the beater was found by a search group at 2.15pm today. He was warmed up and returned to the road safe and well. A good outcome for all concerned.

The incident involved 8 Team members for 9 hours 45 minutes.

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*** Incident No.46 ***

Sunday 28 August 2016, 03.23hrs

The busy August continues with our eleventh incident for the month in the early hours of this morning. Northumbria Police contacted the Team and North of Tyne MRT for assistance in locating a female walker in her early 70s, who had failed to meet up with her husband at 21.00hrs, the previous night.

The female had been walking the Northumberland Coastal Path in sections and had set off from Belford to walk to Fenwick village late afternoon. She had walked the section to Belford earlier in the day.

After trying to locate his wife, the husband raised the alarm in the early hours. As our Incident Controllers were being briefed by the Police officers in Belford, the Police located the female on a drivable track in the woods near to the coastal path.

The walker had fallen sustaining minor injuries but due to the poor conditions overnight, she was also suffering from the cold. She was assessed and treated by a Team medic before being transported to hospital. We hope she makes a full and swift recovery.

The Coastguard helicopter from Prestwick had also been requested to assist in the search, but thankfully was not required on this occasion.

The incident involved 4 members for 3.5 hours.

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*** Incident No.29 ***

Saturday 18 June 2016, 12.06hrs

The Team was activated by the North East Ambulance Service at just after midday for a female who had fallen 4 metres down a rock face at Hareshaw Linn waterfall near Bellingham. The female had sustained serious injuries in the fall, landing in the river and on rocks below the waterfall. Her family raised the alarm.

Alongside North of Tyne MRT, we responded immediately with three Landrover ambulances approaching from different directions. One of the Team members – a Paramedic with the Ambulance Service – was on scene quickly along with the Great North Ambulance Service. Soon after one of our Incident Controllers was on scene to assess the evacuation.

Whilst the NEAS Hazardous Response Team assisted the Air Ambulance crew with stabilising the casualty, we set up a technical rope rescue system to haul the stretcher from below the waterfall up to the bridge. From here we were hoping that the Coastguard helicopter from Prestwick would be able to winch the stretcher on board the aircraft. Unfortunately this was not possible due to the nature of the location and the stretcher had to be carried up a steep slope to the helimed.

A swift flight to hospital then followed. We hope the female involved makes a full and swift recovery.

A great team effort involving multiple agencies.

The incident involved 12 members for 3 hours 20 minutes.

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The scene of the incident below Hareshaw Linn
The scene of the incident below Hareshaw Linn
Preparing the stretcher and checking the casualty before raising the stretcher
Preparing the stretcher and checking the casualty before raising the stretcher.
Sorting out the ropes at the top of the waterfall.
Sorting out the ropes at the top of the waterfall.
Checking on the casualty after the raise.
Checking on the casualty after the raise.

 

The carry up to the helimed
The carry up to the helimed
Nearly out of the trees!
Nearly out of the trees!
Almost to the helimed
Almost to the helimed
Final checks before loading the casualty into the helimed
Final checks before loading the casualty into the helimed
All the emergency services, all lined up!
All the emergency services, all lined up!
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*** Incident No.25 ***

Tuesday 24 May 2016, 14.23hrs

Unfortunately today was not the day for climbers in Northumberland. As we were about to stand down from the previous incident, Northumbria Police activated the Team and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team for a male climber who had fallen at Kyloe Crag.

A Team vehicle which was almost back at our Pegswood Fire Station base was swiftly despatched along with two Team members, whilst the remainder of the Team were called out. A few members travelled from Hadrian’s Wall in the west whilst others not involved in the previous incident headed direct to the scene.

Three Team members and a NEAS Paramedic arrived on scene at approximately the same time, within 30 minutes of the activation. The Paramedic and a Team medic stabilised the casualty who had sustained a serious lower leg injury in his fall.

Given the nature of the terrain and the casualty’s injuries it was deemed a helicopter evacuation was required. Our incident controller requested a Coastguard helicopter for its winching capability, which was duly tasked from Prestwick.

The helicopter on arrival at Kyloe Crag winched the stretcher and casualty on board from the location below the crag. The casualty was then transferred to a crewed Ambulance for onward transport to hospital.

The North East Ambulance Service HART team was also involved in the incident. A true multi-agency response.

Again we hope the climber makes a full and swift recovery.

The incident involved 11 Team members for 2 hours 20 minutes.

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Coastguard helicopter arriving on scene at Kyloe Crags Northumberland.
Coastguard helicopter arriving on scene at Kyloe Crags Northumberland.
Preparing the casualty for winching
Preparing the casualty for winching
Using a smoke flare to guide in the helicopter
Using a smoke flare to guide in the helicopter
Awaiting the winchman from the helicopter
Awaiting the winchman from the helicopter
Using the highline whilst winching
Using the highline whilst winching