One day we’re in The Cheviots guiding lost walkers off the hill, next day we are on the banks of the River Tyne working with Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service on a joint exercise.
The joint exercise involved in water and bankside searching for five contractors who had gone missing when the scaffolding on the railway bridge they were working on collapsed.
Both services co-located at Warden and established a shared incident command. Mountain Rescue water first responder teams and Fire & Rescue Swiftwater Rescue Technician teams were swiftly (pardon the pun!) deployed.
The five contractors were all located in under an hour and a half, and evacuated by stretcher, boat and 4×4 vehicle to awaiting ambulances.
Date: 19 February 2017
The Team and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were activated by Northumbria Police this afternoon for two walkers who had become disorientated in low cloud around the area of Cheviot.
As Team members were travelling to the area it was possible for an Incident Officer to speak to the walkers on their mobile phone. As the walkers dropped below the cloud they were able to send a photo of what they could see. From this it was ascertained they were in the upper part of the Hartope Burn. Two Team members were dispatched to meet the walkers as they descended to escort them off the hill and for onward transport to their own car.
Incident lasted 2 hours 37 minutes and involved 18 Team members
After the weekends incident one of our Land Rovers though it deserved a bit of TLC so refused to move any further.
After being carried on a low loader to Team Valley Land Rover, always a sad sight to see such a wonderful vehicle getting a lift on a recovery lorry, the guys there pulled out all the stops and prioritised the work.
After a very difficult job, aren’t they all, and parts sourced, we have it back and ready to work again, unfortunately with a bill that we would rather not have had.
However these vehicles are essential in allowing us to do our job so must be maintained and repaired ready for the next call.
Big thanks to Team Valley Land Rover for the work and team members who assisted with its recovery.
Date: 12 February 2017
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.
Date: Friday 10 February 2017
Location: Keswick, Cumbria
On Friday the Team’s search dog and handler were put on standby by Keswick Mountain Rescue Team to assist in an ongoing search on Saturday. As the day progressed new information resulted in the Lake District MRTs being stood down.
Date: 09 February 2017
The Team was alerted in the early hours of this morning by Northumbria Police to assist in the search for a vulnerable male in his early 90s from the Westerhope area of Newcastle. He had been last seen at 12.30pm yesterday leaving his house by a neighbour.
Along with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team, we coordinated an initial limited response. Our search and rescue dog and handler, and one search group were to focus on high priority wooded areas and linear routes. The groups were to work alongside a Police cadaver dog and other resources on the ground. The Police helicopter had already overflown the area.
As the search groups were being deployed the misper was thankfully found, safe and well, in the centre of Newcastle.
The incident involved 7 Team members for 3 hours 30 minutes.
Whilst over half the Team were in the Cairngorms winter training, the remaining few were requested to assist with an ongoing search in North Yorkshire. Alongside North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and other MRTs in the North East region we provided additional resources to Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team.
Sadly a body was located by one of the search groups. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the missing person.
The incident involved six members for 4 hours 30 minutes.
A big thank you to all of our supporters who helped raise £3,500 for new equipment for our Level 2 Water First Responders, Level 3 Swiftwater Rescue Technicians and Level 5 Water & Flood Incident Managers.
We would also like to thank Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team who very generously donated Personal Flotation Devices and other equipment which was surplus to their requirements. Their donation has enabled us to distribute kit to individual Team members as well as to retain a number of sets on our vehicles.
A fun afternoon was spent sorting out all the kit!
Further funds are required for additional dry suits and training for more Team members. It costs nearly £1,000 to train and equip one Team member ready for the next flood event in our operational area.
If you would like to make a donation please click on the link below.
Date: Saturday 21 January 2017
Location: Clay Bank, North Yorkshire Moors
In the early hours of yesterday morning, our Search and Rescue Dog handler was called to assist Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team. The search involving MRTs and search dogs from across North Yorkshire and the North East resulted in a positive outcome.
The incident involved two Team members for 6 hours 30 minutes.
Date: 13 January 2017
Earlier today the Team and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were requested by Northumbria Police to assist in a search for a missing 63 year old male in the Haltwhistle area. The male had left home sometime after 01.00hrs and due to the weather conditions, the Police were concerned for his welfare.
As our Incident Officer was travelling to liaise with the Police Search Adviser, NPAS Newcastle – the Police helicopter – located the body of the missing male. A sad outcome for all concerned and our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends.
The incident involved two Team members, with a further eight on standby, for 1 hour.