Date: 2 March 2017
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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Monday 19 December 2016, 11.30hrs
A lone male became unwell whilst walking in the Cheviot Hills this morning. Information received from the Police suggested the walker was in and out of consciousness. At this stage the exact location of the walker was unknown although indications were that he was on Hedgehope Hill.
The Team alongside North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team deployed immediately to rendezvous in the Harthope valley. SARLOC, the location App, was used successfully and the walker’s location was identified as being between Hedgehope and Long Crag. With this information, one of our Landrovers was re-directed to access the casualty’s location from Threestoneburn Wood whilst Team members headed up from the Harthope valley.
Given the seriousness of the situation, air support was also requested by our Incident Controller. A MCA helicopter from Prestwick, Rescue 999, was tasked to the incident and arrived on scene within 50 minutes.
Team members and a North East Ambulance Service Paramedic were transported up to the casualty’s location by the local farmer from Langleeford using his quad and trailer. The farmer’s support was very much appreciated.
Once the casualty had been assessed by the Paramedic from Rescue 999, Team members assisted the crew in carrying the stretcher to the awaiting S92 helicopter. The casualty was then flown to the RVI in Newcastle for further treatment.
The Team would also like to thank the passing walker who came across the casualty and provided immediate care before the emergency services arrived. The walker’s actions certainly helped to save a life.
The incident involved 13 Team members for 2 hours 10 minutes.
Saturday 1 October 2016, 20.15hrs
Nearly 500 Scouts and Explorer Scouts were involved in Operation Twilight yesterday. They were walking in small groups between the drop off points at Bolam and Alwinton, and finding their own way back to Rothbury. Evading capture as they went!
Unfortunately a member of one of the groups sustained an ankle injury and was unable to continue. The Team was called to assist with evacuation. SARLOC, a Smart Phone location app, was used to pin point the location of the group before two Mountain Rescue Land Rovers and members were despatched.
The Land Rovers were almost able to access the group’s location, on the footpath to the SE of Spylaw, round the back of Simonside. Whilst the casualty was assessed, the other group members were transported off the fell. A short stretcher carry to the remaining vehicle then saw the casualty, who was also mildly hypothermic, safely evacuated back to Rothbury.
The casualty was then handed over to the Ambulance service.
The incident involved 7 Team members for 2 hours.
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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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Saturday 27 August 2016, 19.13hrs
Northumbria Police contacted North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and ourselves on Saturday evening having received a report from two walkers saying they were lost in the Cheviot Hills. Little information was available as to the walkers intended route, other than they had started near Wooler.
One of Incident Controllers spoke to the walkers and ascertained that they roughly knew where they were. We then successfully used SARLOC – a SMS location App – to pin point the walkers’ location. They were on the south east side of Hedgehope Hill, on the edge of Threestoneburn Wood (or at least where the wood was!).
Guidance was then provided to the walkers by phone and SARLOC was used to ensure they were heading in the right direction – see photo. The walkers were confident in being able to walk off the hill themselves and evenutally arrived back in the Harthope Valley, where they had started by 21.40hrs and were met b Police officers.
Great use of technology which meant we didn’t need to leave the house!
The incident involved 4 members for 2.5 hours.
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— in Wooler, Northumberland.
Sunday 1 May, 20.31hrs
Yesterday evening North of Tyne MRT and ourselves were contacted by Northumbria Police regarding a cyclist who was lost in the Kielder area. Indications were that the cyclist was near to Riccarton.
We tried SARLOC, a text message system used to locate missing persons, whilst the Police drove some of the roads and other resources were being mobilised. Border Search & Rescue Unit and Tweed Valley MRT were made aware of the incident in case additional support was required.
Unfortunately due to the poor mobile coverage SARLOC didn’t work. After half an hour though contact was made with the cyclist again and he confirmed he was on the road near Riccarton. A Police vehicle located the cyclist and transported him back to his start point at Kielder Water. All ended well.
The incident involved 2 Team members for 1 hour.
16.32hrs, 31 January 2016
A short lived incident this evening with a positive outcome. A family of three became lost in woods near Hexham.
Northumbria Police contacted the Team for assistance and to see whether the SMS location app, SARLOC, we use could pin point the exact location of the family. No sooner had the Police contact ourselves and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team, we were stood down as the family had been located by the Police. All three were safe and well.
The incident lasted 4 minutes and involved one Team member!
17.09hrs, 23 January 2016
Two walkers had contacted Northumbria Police to say they were lost in Kielder Forest. From the information received they were believed to be near Chirdon Head on a drivable track.
As our incident controllers tried to establish a more accurate location using SARLOC and by talking to the walkers, the Police dispatched local officers in a 4×4 vehicle.
Our Team and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were put on standby and drivers tasked to pick up our vehicles.
Thankfully the walkers and their dogs were quickly located by the Police on a forest track and were transported back to their car. All safe and well.
A total of 3 members were involved for 35 minutes. A further 6 members were ready to be deployed.
Well the clock has started again with the first incident of 2016. Two walkers and their dogs reported themselves lost in Thrunton Woods in the Callaly Crag and Hob’s Nick area.
The Police contacted ourselves and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team immediately to request assistance. A SARLOC message was immediately sent to one of the walker’s mobiles to try to ascertain their exact location. One of our controllers then rang the same number but it went to anasphone.
Two of our controllers then travelled to Thrunton Woods to liaise with the Police, whilst two others monitored MRMap in case the location of the walkers ‘pinged’ back. The walkers were, however, able to make their way safely off the hill to Callaly using the torch on their iPhone. As they descended mobile service was lost and hence why we could not contact them.
All ended well and we were back home in time for our Sunday dinner!
A total of 4 Team members were involved for 1 hour.
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!