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.
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.
The 35th Cheviots Challenge is fast approaching and will take place next weekend – Saturday 3 September. This fantastic event will get you high in the hills of the Northumberland National Park with the Team close by in strategic locations along the route to keep you safe.
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!
Tuesday 2 August 2016, 20.10hrs
Two boys in their mid to late teens went missing on the Hadrian’s Wall Path yesterday and failed to turn up at the meeting point with their parents. Thankfully soon after Northumbria Police contacted ourselves and North of Tyne MRT, and initial enquiries were being made by one of our incident controllers, the boys turned up safe and well.
Right place, right time. On the Bank Holiday Monday one of our Team members happened across a group of nine walkers and two dogs on the Salter’s Road at the eastern edge of the Uswayford Forest. This is one of the more remote parts of our beautiful National Park.
The walkers stopped our Team member and asked for directions. It turns out that the group of walkers were intending to climb Windy Gyle having set off from Barrowburn. They were now a good 6km off course and were heading towards the Breamish valley!
Given the time a decision was taken by the Team member to shuttle the group back down the Usway valley to the track heading south to Barrowburn over Middle Hill. Thankfully his 4×4 was close at hand and meant for a swift transportation of the group.
The group then walked back the last few kilometres to Barrowburn having never made the summit of Windy Gyle. Our Team member waited at Barrowburn to see the group coming safely down the hill before heading home.
The actions of our Team member certainly avoided a search for the full Team later in the day.
The incident involved one Team member for 1hr 55mins.
Whilst the rest of the country bathed in glorious sunshine, much of Northumberland including the Simonside Hills was covered in thick mist. The prevailing weather conditions led to two walkers becoming disoriented and eventually lost in the Simonside Hills.
The Team alongside North of Tyne MRT were activated late afternoon by Northumbria Police to assist in the search for the two walkers. From the information received the two walkers having ‘walked over the hill’ had taken shelter in a hut next to rough track. From this information we identified the likely location of walkers as being the two huts on the track between Harwood Forest and Hepple Whitefield – along the route of the Sandstone Way and Border County Ride.
Two Team members were swiftly despatched to drive the rough track up to Whitefield Hill. The walkers were located in one of the shooting huts with the gas fire on to warm themselves up. When we pointed out to them where they had ended up, they were somewhat surprised and very grateful we’d turned up!
A Police 4×4 was used to transport the walkers back to their car at Simonside Forest car park.
All ended well and in time for Team members to enjoy their Saturday evening.
The incident involved 8 Team members for 1hr 50mins.
Following the incident at Kielder last Sunday, the next day the Team was providing rescue cover for the Shepherds Walks Coastal Challenge. A long day was interspersed with treating three walkers for a variety of ailments and injuries. Two of the walkers had to be evacuated in one of the Team’s Land Rover ambulances as they were unable to continue with the event.
Well done to everyone who completed the Coastal Challenge and in doing so helped raise funds for the Team.
This event is designed as a personal challenge that is accessible to all. We’ll be in strategic places along the routes, to provide encouragement and light refreshments, and so that if it becomes ‘too much of a challenge’, a Land Rover back to the village is possible. It’s a great opportunity to get high into the hills of the Northumberland National Park, have a great time with friends, and possibly make some new friends along the way.
There is a choice of two routes:
– Terry Lynn long route is about 23 miles and over 4000 feet of climbing
– Eileen Lynn short route is about 18 miles and over 3000 feet of climbing
Whilst most of the Team were away in the Cairngorms winter training, the remaining few alongside North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team had to deal with an incident involving two walkers.
The walkers had rung Northumbria Police stating they were overdue and still six miles from their vehicle, with the weather closing in. The walkers were, however, able to safely make their way off the hill to Low Bleakhope farm where they were met by Police officers. They were then taken back to their car.
The incident involved 2 members being deployed in a 4×4 with further members on standby for 1 hour.