Lake District mountain team hails 16-hour rescue effort in 'appalling' conditions

Lake District mountain team hails 16-hour rescue effort in 'appalling' conditions

Lake District mountain team hails 16-hour rescue effort in 'appalling' conditions

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A LAKE District mountain rescue team has praised the 'massive effort' to find two walkers in 'appalling' weather conditions.

The voluntary-run Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team said six teams, a rescue dogs unit and an RAF helicopter were all involved in the 16-hour search this week.

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Two men from Merseyside were reported overdue at around 9.40pm on Thursday (August 28) on their way back to Langdale from what LAMRT described as 'an ambitious' walk to England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike.

When the men failed to show, a major rescue operation was launched involving LAMRT, Wasdale MRT, Keswick MRT and search dogs between Thursday and Friday.

A LAMRT spokesperson said: "The initial search took place in appalling weather with strong winds, low clouds and heavy rain and sleet.

"When all search plans had been carried out by 5.30am (on Friday), the search was scaled down with a view to catching a nap, and some food and drink and scaling up.

"The second phased of the search involved additional members from the already participating teams, plus additional ones and Kendal Mountain Rescue Team and Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team.

"The men were located by a dog handler at their car about 1.30pm (on Friday) having found their own way off.

"They were cold, wet and very tired - not unlike most of the searchers! They had spent the night near Green Hole, climbed out over Bowfell at first light and made their way off."

The spokesman said the search involved a total of about 80 personnel for 16 hours and including some 'spectacular flying' by the helicopter crew from Rescue 122 which all contributed to this massive effort."

Seventeen LAMRT team members were involved in the search to comb the central fells area of the Lake District.

Comments (3)

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12:11pm Sat 30 Aug 14

dancer58 says...

Can not believe these wonderfull people do this on purely volantery basis they should be funded by our government , well lads and lasses you do a great job
Can not believe these wonderfull people do this on purely volantery basis they should be funded by our government , well lads and lasses you do a great job dancer58
  • Score: 19

5:41pm Sat 30 Aug 14

Plutach says...

It is a shame that so many people (and expensive equipment) were deployed when the men were perfectly capable of waiting it out until morning. I would be mortified if someone called out the emergency services just because I had dropped into a valley for a pie and a pint making me "late".

Filing route plans and "deadlines" removes the flexibility of a walker to change his or her route (or end point) to suit the conditions.
It is a shame that so many people (and expensive equipment) were deployed when the men were perfectly capable of waiting it out until morning. I would be mortified if someone called out the emergency services just because I had dropped into a valley for a pie and a pint making me "late". Filing route plans and "deadlines" removes the flexibility of a walker to change his or her route (or end point) to suit the conditions. Plutach
  • Score: -4

7:33pm Sun 31 Aug 14

Nick Owen says...

Dancer 58, thanks for your support.

Plutach, they spent a very cold, wet and unpleasant night huddled (mostly) out of gale force winds and sleet and rain. They also had very frightened parents back at home. No pies or pubs were involved... maybe if you read the details before jumping to your keyboard..? Route cards don't remove the flexibility to change plans... MRTs can work out the escape routes, but some idea of where you might be means we can narrow down the search area, so we have a better idea of where to look. The search area for these guys was determined by limited information provided by the two guys over the phone in one of three calls that managed to connect (from in excess of 30 attempts), with additional info provided by parents... it's far too easy to criticise while sat in the comfort of a sofa...

Nick Owen, Team Leader, Langdale Ambleside MRT
Dancer 58, thanks for your support. Plutach, they spent a very cold, wet and unpleasant night huddled (mostly) out of gale force winds and sleet and rain. They also had very frightened parents back at home. No pies or pubs were involved... maybe if you read the details before jumping to your keyboard..? Route cards don't remove the flexibility to change plans... MRTs can work out the escape routes, but some idea of where you might be means we can narrow down the search area, so we have a better idea of where to look. The search area for these guys was determined by limited information provided by the two guys over the phone in one of three calls that managed to connect (from in excess of 30 attempts), with additional info provided by parents... it's far too easy to criticise while sat in the comfort of a sofa... Nick Owen, Team Leader, Langdale Ambleside MRT Nick Owen
  • Score: 7

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