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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Passers-by help rescue Lake District snow gully fall pair

Two passers-by helped rescue a pair of walkers who had slipped around 300ft down a snow gully while ascending Swirral Edge on Helvellyn.

Patterdale rescue photo
Rescue teams at work

The pair were discovered by a passing member of Coniston Mountain Rescue Team who was out walking on the fell.

A Lake District National Park fell top assessor who was passing went to their aid too following the accident on Thursday afternoon.

They checked the two men – one 49 and the other 50, both from Cheshire – for injuries, made them secure and called 999.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service was called out but was unable to reach them. It dropped a doctor and paramedic at the tarn below the ridge and then ferried two members of Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team to the spot.

The 50-year-old was unhurt and the other man suffered non-life threatening head, neck and back injuries.

An RAF Sea King helicopter was called and further volunteer rescuers climbed to the site while it was scrambled.

Penrith Mountain Rescue Team was called to help members from Patterdale during Thursday afternoon’s five-hour rescue.

The helicopter was unable to reach the area because of low cloud so the rescuers had to stretcher the man about 900ft down a steep, west snow gully to Red Tarn so he could be flown to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

The rescue prompted Patterdale’s mountain rescuers to remind all those venturing onto the fells to take proper equipment – ice axe and crampons particularly – as there are full winter conditions on many high tops.

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