Northumberland and North of Tyne mountain rescue teams report busiest year on record

Northumberland National Park and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue teams reported more than 200 incidents this year.

By Joshua Wright
Friday, 24th December 2021, 12:56 pm
Mountain rescue teams in Northumberland and North Tyneside have had a challenging year.
Mountain rescue teams in Northumberland and North Tyneside have had a challenging year.

The figure is a rise of 50 compared to the previous year.

Iain Nixon, team leader for Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team,said: “Despite Covid restrictions, our volunteers have responded to 105 incidents, with Northumbria Police using our PhoneFind technology 97 times to help them find vulnerable missing persons.

“The core of our responses have been rescues (51) and searches (38), but we’ve also had a busy year supporting local resilience in the wake of some extreme events.”

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Mountain rescue teams helping communities in the wake of Storm Arwen and Storm Barra.

This year, the teams supported Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service in tackling forest fires in June and they also supported local communities in the wake of Storm Arwen and then Storm Barra.

In one of their more challenging incidents, both teams responded to a request from the North East Ambulance Service to assist a patient in a remote farmhouse in February. This involved the teams skiing to the patient through deep snow in temperatures of -10C.

They worked for more than seven hours before the patient was rescued by the HM Coastguard rescue helicopter.

“Throughout the year, we've been lucky to work with a range of partner agencies from the police, fire and rescue and ambulance service as well as local farmers, forestry staff and Northumberland National Park Wardens.” Mr Briggs added.

The teams also received praise from local Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuiness, as well as the High Sheriff of Northumberland.

When asked what they would like for Christmas, both team leaders replied: “A nice quiet family lunch!”