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Incident No: 17 2017

Date: 12 May 2017
Time: 18.42hrs
Location: Cold Law, Cheviot Hills

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.

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*** Incidents No.47, 48 & 49***

Saturday 3 September 2016, 13.00hrs

August was a very busy month and now September is off to a flier too!

On Saturday whilst the Team was covering the Cheviots Challenge, we dealt with three separate incidents in the hills to the north and north west of Alwinton.

A female in her early 50s was suffering from severe chest pains, causing her to collapse in one of the most exposed sections of the Pennine Way, west of Windy Gyle. Two Team members were on scene within minutes and further assistance arrived shortly after. One of the Doctors in the Team worked alongside two of our other medics to stabilise the casualty, before handing over to the Great North Air Ambulance Service for a short flight to a crewed Ambulance in the Coquet valley.

Whilst this incident was ongoing, Team members were also dealing with a second female who had sustained an ankle injury and was unable to continue. Both casualties were taken to hospital in the same Ambulance.

The third incident came late in the day when a group of nine walkers became lost and were overtaken by darkness. Once again SARLOC – a location App – proved its worth. A text was sent to one of the walker’s mobile phones which enabled us to pinpoint their location. The walkers had turned 90 degrees off their intended route and ended up in unfamiliar ground 2km from their last known point, Shillmoor. They had walked an extra 5km from Shillmoor and had almost gone in a full circle!

The walkers were evacuated in our Team vehicles to Alwinton where they were checked out by a Doctor and a medic from the Team before being allowed to head home.

All in a long day’s work!

The incidents involved Team 25 members over a period of 8 hours.

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*** Incident 42 ***

Saturday 20 August 2016, 14.12 hrs.

The Team was called alongside North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team to support the North East Ambulance Service after a man had sustained a lower leg injury on the Pennine Way in a very remote part of the Northumberland National Park near to Rochester. After an hour long stretcher carry across the moors with inclement weather to the nearest drivable track, the casualty was transferred to an ambulance for onward transport to hospital.

The incident lasted 4.5 hours and involved 20 rescue Team members.

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*** Incident No.38 ***

Monday 8th August 2016, 15.15 hrs
The Team along with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were called by Northumbria Police to assist a walker with a lower leg injury on the Pennine Way above the College Valley. Fortunately for the casualty the MCA Rescue Helicopter from Prestwick was in the process of finishing a mission for the Tweed Valley Rescue Team and was able to collect the casualty from the hill. Two Team members located the rest of the party as they descended off the hill and with assistance from the Police escorted them back to their transport at Hethpool.

The incident involved 12 Team members for 3 hours.

 

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*** Incident No.32 ***

Saturday 9 July, 16.55hrs

A 70 year male fell and sustained a lower leg injury whilst walking on the Pennine Way, late on Saturday afternoon. He was near the end of a two week journey from Edale in the Peak District.

Mountain Rescue Teams from both sides of the Border were activated; Border Search & Rescue Unit by Police Scotland, and North of Tyne MRT and ourselves by the North East Ambulance Service.

Due to the hill fog and driving rain a helicopter evacuation was not possible. However, the casualty’s location meant that the Border’s team could drive up to the Border Ridge. Whilst we on the other hand had to walk or run!

The casualty was treated and evacuated to an ambulance on the north side of the Border. A successful outcome in horrendous conditions.

Photos courtesy of BSARU.

A total of 12 members were involved for four hours.

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*** Incident No.3 ***

05.55hrs, 16 January 2016

An early morning call from the Border Search & Rescue Unit this morning for possible assistance with evacuating a walker who had been found in a hypothermic condition on the Border Ridge. The casualty was re-warmed in the Auchope shelter on the Pennine Way before being evacuated.

Without a doubt the emergency shelter built by the Northumberland National Park with assistance from Mountain Rescue volunteers has once again helped to save another life.

A total of 20 Team members were on standby for just over 2 hours.

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*** Incident No. 31 ***

Last night the team were alerted to an over due walker on the Pennine Way.
Using SARLOC the lost walker was located quickly and assisted back to The forest View in Byrness, tired and cold but otherwise well.
Thanks to The Forest View for raising the alarm and providing a well earned cuppa and hospitality in the middle of the night!
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*** Incident No.18 ***

The Team along with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team has just stood down from a search for a missing walker in the Wark Forest area. The walker who had left Bellingham earlier in the day had intended to follow the Pennine Way towards Once Brewed. He rang the Police at 16.30hrs to say he was disorientated and didn’t know where he was.

As the Teams’ Search & Rescue Dogs were being deployed, a farmer contacted the Police to say the walker had turned up at his farm. He had walked almost in a full circle and was heading back towards Bellingham, albeit unintentionally!

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Google Streetview on the Pennine Way

Last week one of our Team members had the chance to take part in a project to create a ‘streetview’ of the northerly part of the Pennine Way. The Northumberland National Park was chosen by Google for this innovative project alongside locations such as the Grand Canyon and Canadian Arctic!

The day involved carrying 18kg of top heavy, electronic wizardry which has 15 digital cameras, each taking a new image every 2.5 seconds. These images are “stitched” together so you see the image on your computer screen like Streetview.

It will give the viewer the next best thing to actually being there and hopefully promote more visits to the National Park. Having this facility will also be useful from a mountain rescue perspective.

An great day working alongside colleagues from the Northumberland National Park Authority.

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