Persons reported struggling in the River Wansbeck. A group of young males and females had been drinking all day in Morpeth and after leaving one of the pubs, thought it would be a good idea to take two of the rowing boats, which had been locked up for the night, out onto the river. An eye witness reported seeing the group capsize both of the boats.
That was the scenario which faced a multi-agency response last night. Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service, the Coastguard and Mountain Rescue were involved in agreeing and implementing an effective search plan to locate the missing persons. Swiftwater and bankside teams, all in appropriate PPE, a Mountain Rescue search dog team were swiftly deployed by the three agencies, and all the casualties were located, treated and evacuated within an hour and a half.
A great evening working alongside our colleagues in the Fire Service and Coastguard. Much learning for all involved, which will hold us in good stead for the real thing!
Unfortunately today was not the day for climbers in Northumberland. As we were about to stand down from the previous incident, Northumbria Police activated the Team and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team for a male climber who had fallen at Kyloe Crag.
A Team vehicle which was almost back at our Pegswood Fire Station base was swiftly despatched along with two Team members, whilst the remainder of the Team were called out. A few members travelled from Hadrian’s Wall in the west whilst others not involved in the previous incident headed direct to the scene.
Three Team members and a NEAS Paramedic arrived on scene at approximately the same time, within 30 minutes of the activation. The Paramedic and a Team medic stabilised the casualty who had sustained a serious lower leg injury in his fall.
Given the nature of the terrain and the casualty’s injuries it was deemed a helicopter evacuation was required. Our incident controller requested a Coastguard helicopter for its winching capability, which was duly tasked from Prestwick.
The helicopter on arrival at Kyloe Crag winched the stretcher and casualty on board from the location below the crag. The casualty was then transferred to a crewed Ambulance for onward transport to hospital.
The North East Ambulance Service HART team was also involved in the incident. A true multi-agency response.
Again we hope the climber makes a full and swift recovery.
The incident involved 11 Team members for 2 hours 20 minutes.