Date: 21 May 2017
Location: Great Wanney Crag, near Kirkwhelpington
Just as many Team members were about to have their Sunday dinner, we received a callout for an injured female climber on Great Wanney Crag. The climber had fallen onto a ledge and sustained a suspected fractured ankle.
Northumbria Police requested our assistance at just before 6.00pm and along with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team we responded immediately.
Working with the North East Ambulance Service and their HART team, the casualty was treated and her ankle immobilised before we lowered her to the foot of the crag. An awkward stretcher lower over rough, bouldery ground then followed before a 500 metre stretcher carry to the waiting Ambulance. The evacuation took just over 2 hours from arrival on scene.
A male walker in his late 60s was reported lost in thick mist in The Cheviot Hills yesterday evening. Northumbria Police swiftly requested our and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team’s assistance.
Having received details from the Police, our Incident Officer sent a SARLOC message to the walker’s phone. Unfortunately this failed. Thankfully the Incident Officer was able to speak to the walker on his mobile and from the information provided was able to identify a likely location.
The walker who was well equipped was asked to remain at his location whilst the Teams’ 4x4s were deployed to search the prioritised routes. The rest of the Team members were place on standby.
Shortly before 20.00hrs the walker was located to the north of Cold Law above the Harthope valley. He was tired and a bit cold but otherwise okay. He was transported to Wooler, his intended finishing point having started from Kirk Yetholm earlier in the day.
He had walked along the Pennine Way to The Cheviot, descended to Scald Hill and the over to Broadhope Hill before becoming disoriented in the thick mist. A big day out even without the ordeal at the end.
A good result!
The incident involved 11 Team members for 2 hours 20 minutes.
Last weekend the Team was involved in a research project led by The Centre for Search Research and Newcastle University Business School. The research was designed to explore the effectiveness of searching on the ground and in the air.
Over two days our search groups and search dog, Tess, and her handler were put to the test on the ground searching routes and areas on the moors near Rothbury.
QuestUAV and Northumberland National Park Authority were involved in testing fixed wing and rotor drones to search a defined route and area, and the UK Civil Air Patrol used planes and a helicopter to search the same areas.
From an incident control perspective the research gave us a great opportunity to put some of our technology to the test in tracking search groups and accurately recording what had and hadn’t been searched. We also worked with QuestUAV to analyse the digital imagery produced from the fixed wing drone to locate the missing persons.
A highly beneficial couple of days with observers from Northumbria Police, the National Police Air Support Unit, Northumberland Fire & Rescue and the Coastguard.
After a quiet few weeks, Northumbria Police requested Mountain Rescue’s assistance in a search for a 11 year old boy who had gone missing from the Kingswood educational centre near to Hexham. North of Tyne MRT and ourselves responded with our overhead team liaising with the Police to prepare a search strategy and plan, whilst members travelled to the RV.
As the first search areas near to the grounds of the centre were being completed, news came in that the missing boy had been found in the centre of Hexham. Team Leader, Iain Nixon, commented “We are pleased that Callum Davidson was found safe and well, and the MRTs would like to thank the members of public who offered their assistance in the search for Callum.”
Our highly trained searchers and three air scenting search dogs worked alongside Northumbria Police officers, the National Police Air Support Unit and Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service. The Fire Service had provided access to their thermal imaging cameras. A great multi agency response leading to a successful outcome.
Date: 7 March 2017
Location: Harthope Valley, near Wooler
Mid-afternoon yesterday the Team and North of Tyne MRT were requested by Northumbria Police to assist with the rescue of a female walker. The female had fallen and sustained a lower arm injury. The exact location was unknown but was believed to be on the footpath between Langleeford Farm and Scotsman Knowe.
The female’s husband raised the alarm having walked downstream to the nearest inhabited farmhouse at Langleeford.
Two Landrover ambulances were swiftly despatched whilst our Incident Officer travelled directly to the scene. Thankfully enroute the Teams were notified that a North East Ambulance Service Paramedic from Wooler had been able to access the female’s location just upstream of Langleeford Hope. The Paramedic was able to walk the casualty back to their vehicle and the Teams were stood down.
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
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: 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.
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.
Northumbria Police requested North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and ourselves this afternoon to provide technical rope rescue skills in order to recovery a body from the foot of the cliffs near Berwick. As the Team’s Incident Officer was responding to the activation by the Police, we were informed that the Coastguard and RNLI were able to deal with the situation.
Our thoughts are with the deceased person’s families and friends at this difficult time.
The incident involved two members for five minutes.