Busy summer for Northumberland mountain rescue teams

The incident at the top of the Drakestone, near Harbottle.
The incident at the top of the Drakestone, near Harbottle.

Mountain rescue volunteers in Northumberland have had a very busy summer so far with eight call-outs in the past three weeks.

The most recent incident for the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team (NNPMRT) and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team (NOTMRT) was on Saturday.

The incident at the top of the Drakestone, near Harbottle.

The incident at the top of the Drakestone, near Harbottle.

Around 2pm, the teams were called by the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) 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 for four-and-a-half hours and involved 20 volunteers.

Last Tuesday (August 16), the teams were called out by Northumbria Police to rescue a 10-year-old boy who had climbed and got stuck at the top of the Drakestone, near Harbottle.

The Drakestone is a popular location with rock climbers where routes vary between eight and 15 metres in height depending on which side of the stone is climbed.

Team members climbed to the top of the stone to ensure the boy’s welfare before rigging a technical rescue rope system to safely lower him to the ground.

The previous day (Monday, August 15), the teams were called out by police after a woman slipped and sustained head and rib injuries on Hadrian’s Wall, to the east of Housesteads Roman Fort.

Following initial treatment, the walker was transported in a mountain rescue Land Rover to a waiting NEAS road ambulance for onward transportation to hospital.

On Saturday, August 13, the teams were called to an incident at Shield on the Wall in which a woman had slipped on the muddy path and sustained a lower leg injury.

After initial treatment given by NEAS, she was transported with the aid of the mountain rescue teamsto the Great North Air Ambulance that had landed nearby.

The teams were called to assist another walker with a lower leg injury, on the Pennine Way above the College Valley, on Monday, August 8.

The Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter from Prestwick (Glasgow) was in the area, having just finished a mission with Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team and transported the casualty to hospital.

The teams then located the casualty’s group and helped them descend off the hills.

On Wednesday, August 3, the teams were called by NEAS to assist a female walker who had slipped at St Cuthbert’s Cave and sustained alower leg injury.

The on-scene paramedic provided initial treatment before the casualty was transported by mountain rescue Land Rover Ambulance to a road ambulance.

The day before, Tuesday, August 2, the teams were called after two boys in their mid to late teens were walking along the Hadrian’s Wall path and failed to turn up at a pre-agreed meeting place with their parents, but they turned up safe and well.

Finally, on Sunday, July 31, there was a call to support the Teesdale and Weardale Mountain Rescue Team in a search in the Stanley area of County Durham, but the missing person was located before the teams were mobilised.