Call-outs for mountain-rescue volunteers

A team member on the scene last week.
A team member on the scene last week.

Mountain-rescue teams were called out last week after a Duke of Edinburgh Gold mountain-bike expedition group were reported overdue by their supervisor.

At 10.08pm last Monday, the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were activated, although initial information on the group was limited with poor mobile service making contact with the supervisor difficult.

The group's potential location became available as contact had been made with two of the group who were walking off the hill towards Chattlehope by the shores of Catcleugh Reservoir. The other two group members were in their tent which was believed to be on Girdle Fell.

The farmer from Chattlehope House assisted the supervisor with the retrieval of the two group members who were walking off the hill to raise the alarm, but were unable to locate them. At this point, the mountain-rescue Teams were deployed.

Soon after the first arrival of mountain-rescue personnel at the farm, news came in that the two group members had been located and were being transported back to Chattlehope in the farmer's 4x4.

Given the misty conditions, the remoteness of their location and the fact that there wasn't any mobile communication with the two remaining group members, it was agreed with Northumbria Police that Mountain Rescue would locate them and walk them off the hill.

Four team members along with search dog Ben and the farmer from Chattlehope House ventured up Girdle Fell. Ground conditions were extremely difficult and visibility was low

due to the prevailing mist. The group's tents and the two group members were located at 3.45am. Both were in good spirits and were walked them off the hill; all back at the

vehicles an hour later.

The group was well-equipped and had made the right decision to hold their position and send for help after the conditions experienced on their route were more challenging than expected, causing them to be very late.

The teams wish to thank the farmer and his wife at Chattlehope for their hospitality and assisting with the rescue. The incident involved five team members for seven hours 30 minutes. A further 12 team members were en-route before being stood down.

A walker in distress was rescued from the Lamb Hill mountain refuge hut the Sunday before last, which followed a similar incident earlier in July.

Around 5.30pm, the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team (NNPMRT) and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team (NOTMRT) were requested to rescue the walker from the hut, on the Border Ridge at a height of 442m above sea level and some 3km from the nearest road, by Northumbria Police. The woman had sustained an upper leg injury and was unable to bear any weight.

The shepherd from Blindburn Farm assisted with skilful 4x4 driving to transport a member of mountain rescue and the community paramedic from Rothbury to the hut. The woman was then taken down into the care of an ambulance crew.