Our Mountain Rescue England and Wales 4×4 resources with medics on board have been up to Cornhill near Coldstream, out to Bellingham in the west and down to Allendale in the south of our operational area. Driving conditions can only be described as treacherous.
In total we have responded to 15 incidents in less than 24 hours. More details will be provided when conditions ease. We’re currently changing shifts.
Date: 18 January 2018
With a Met Office Amber warning over Northumberland and Tyne & Wear, and heavy snow falling over most of the area, Northumbria Police requested the assistance of North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and ourselves in the early hours of yesterday morning. Drivers, navigators and medics were swiftly allocated and made their way to the Teams’ bases at West Denton and Pegswood Fire Stations.
Soon after the North East Ambulance Service also requested our assistance and one 4×4 with a driver and Team medic on board was despatched to transfer a patient to the RVI.
The other four 4x4s, including a Northumberland National Park 4×4 in Rothbury, were then despatched to check the main arterial roads in rural #Northumberland and the main B roads between some of the more highly populated villages. The vehicle trackers show the extent of our travels, checking for stranded motorists and abandoned vehicles.
Whilst driving conditions were very difficult at times and much snow had fallen, conditions started to improve by 06.00hrs. The Teams stood down at 08.30hrs.
The incidents involved 12 Team members for six hours.
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.
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.
Even when we are quiet as a team the work goes on. The vehicles and their equipment need regular checks, maintenance and repairs. Today we had a winch failure to sort. A full strip and rebuild got things going again. Volunteers working behind the scenes to ensure the team keeps rolling, and are ready when needed!
The Team along with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team has just stood down from an incident near to Hethpool. The North East Ambulance Service requested the assistance of both MRTs to evacuate an injured walker on the St Cuthbert’s Way. The walker had a suspected fractured leg. Whilst travelling to the scene, the Ambulance Service informed the Teams that a farmer in a 4×4 had helped to transport the walker to the awaiting ambulance.
At 20.25hrs the Team along with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team was requested to assist in locating two walkers who had become disoriented between Tosson Hill and Simonside. From the description of their location, two Team members in a 4×4 and a Police 4×4 were deployed to drive the forest track through to Harwood Forest. The walkers were quickly located safe and well, but exhausted, having walked for 8.5 hours. The incident was successfully all over in less than 30 minutes!