Patterdale Mountain Rescue battle through high winds to rescue 12 teenagers (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Patterdale Mountain Rescue battle through high winds to rescue 12 teenagers
11:20am Monday 28th October 2013 in News
PATTERDALE Mountain Rescue Team rescued a 16-year-old girl who was reported as unconscious whilst on a walking expedition.
The girl was part of a group of six teenagers who were undertaking a four-day expedition and yesterday (Sunday October 27) they passed through the upper Grizedale valley near Patterdale.
Mike Blakey, team leader said: “The team had just finished training in worsening weather conditions when the call came through for assistance. Given the nature of the incident we immediately requested assistance from the Great North Air Ambulance.
"However the winds were too strong for the helicopter and it was forced to turn back.
“We therefore requested assistance from the Air Rescue Coordination Centre, in Kinloss, and a Sea King helicopter, Rescue 122 from RAF Valley in Anglesey was mobilised.”
“An hour after the initial call the first rescue team members arrived on scene and assessed the girl, 50 minutes later Rescue 122 airlifted the girl and another from the group who was mildly hypothermic.”
Both were flown directly to hospital in Barrow-in-Furness and were discharged later in the evening.
Mr Blakey added: “The helicopter was operating at its limit in the extremely strong gusting winds and the aircrew demonstrated their exceptional skill in assisting with the rapid evacuation of the girls.
“During the rescue several team members described extremely strong gusts of wind which physically picked them up and threw them to the ground.
“One Patterdale team member suffered chest injuries. A second teenager from the original group was blown over and suffered minor head injuries. Both were assessed by the team’s doctor.
"Whilst the rescue teams were descending to the valley they came across a second organised group of six teenage girls and leader who requested our assistance. All ten teenagers were taken back to our rescue base and given dry clothing, warm drinks and blankets.
“Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team cannot stress enough the importance of checking weather forecasts before venturing into the mountains.
“Routes should be amended based on the information available and conditions on the ground. In this instance the weather forecasts had been clear about the strength of the wind and the heavy rain forecast and so this incident and subsequent injuries to team members may well have been avoidable.”
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