Record breaking start to the year for mountain rescue teams

Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team
Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team

Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team have responded to eight incidents this month -. the busiest January on record for the two teams.

Incidents have included providing assistance to Northumbria Police for vulnerable individuals reported missing from home on two occasions. All were safely located.

The teams also assisted the police in the early hours of January 18 during a period of extreme weather, with heavy snow falling across most of Northumberland and Tyne & Wear.

The teams provided 4x4 support, deploying their three Landrover Defenders to check rural roads for stranded vehicles and abandoned cars. During the same night, the teams helped the North East Ambulance Service with a patient transfer as their resources were stretched.

A few days before the snow arrived in Northumberland, the teams provided three Search & Rescue dogs, their handlers and three navigators for an ongoing search for a missing walker in the Scafell Pike area of the Lake District. The walker was found injured after spending two nights on the fell by search dog handlers in Upper Eskdale.

The most recent incident involved the Teams working alongside Northumbria Police in the early hours of January 26. An elderly male had been reported missing from home in Heaton by his son. Indications were that the elderly male had possibly gone for a walk in Northumberland, starting from either Bellingham or Felton.

With little to go on, the Police continued with their enquiries and eventually confirmed the male had spent the night at Bellingham Youth Hostel, safe

and well.

A spokesperson for the teams said: “Please can we remind walkers or other outdoor users to leave details of their intended plans/routes with a relative or friend to help the emergency services including the volunteer mountain rescue teams to coordinate a response in the event of them being reported overdue.”

Alongside responding to the above incidents, the Teams have been out training throughout January. On the evening of January 20, the teams alongside members from Coastguard teams in Northumberland and the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade held a joint night navigation exercise starting and finishing at Clennell Hall.