Married couple fall more than 100m from England's third highest mountain

A WOMAN fell from one of the Lake District's most dangerous ridges while trying to reach her stricken husband.

A passer-by witnessed a male walker fall around 130m from Swirral Edge, Helvellyn, at 3.30pm yesterday (Sunday).

While he was talking to police he saw a woman fall a longer distance down the mountainside from the same spot.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team was alerted minutes later and launched a rescue operation for the married couple.

A team spokesperson said: "The information available to the team was sketchy because this initial 999 call came through on the emergency network and the mountain rescue team were therefore unable to call the informant back.

"A little while later the police received a second 999 call from the woman who had fallen; she had been trying to reach her husband who was the first casualty."

He continued: "At the time of the incident a number team members had just finished training and made their way by Landrover to Kepple Cove and then on foot to the scene of the incident. 

"A RAF Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer in Northumberland was dispatched and the Great North Air Ambulance was requested. The Air Ambulance flew overhead but was unable to assist due to darkness."

Thirteen members of Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team were assisted by a member of Calder Valley MRT, three members of the RAF mountain rescue service and a member of Kendal MRT.

The male casualty was winched into the Sea King helicopter while team members assessed and secured the second casualty.

The aircraft was then able to return and evacuate the second casualty before both were flown to Cumberland Infirmary Carlisle for further treatment.

Did you witness the accident? Please contact tom.murphy@nqnw.co.uk.

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