Whitehaven Police paged the Team to respond to a call for assistance from a walker who had just run all the way down from Green Hole, Upper Eskdale – his friend had been descending from Crinkle Crags and whilst crossing a gorge had slipped and fallen 10m, landing badly and injuring his head. The informant was at Brotherilkeld Farm. A full team callout was immediately made and the team set off to the top of Eskdale, Green Hole being some 3 km from the road head which would be along walk (run) in and a difficult carry out depending on his injuries. The cloud was down so a helicopter evacuation was not possible.The poor visibility made locating the casualty extremely difficult and it progressed into a major search. Langdale and Ambleside team were asked in to help who also involved Kendal team. There were also a number a search dogs deployed. In all there were probably 50 team members on the hill. The casualty was found at around midnight, high up on the Eskdale side of Crinkle Crags, a long way off the path in Rusty Gill. He had sustained a nasty gash to his head but had remained conscious. He could not walk and was laying in the bottom of the very steep sided gill. He was extremely cold and wet after his ordeal in the gill but had warmed up quickly once in the casualty bag. He was manually lifted out of the gill (he was a heavy man at 16 stone) and carried some 300 metres along the side of the crag on very steep and unstable ground. In many areas the stretcher had to be manhandled between team members, hand over hand, which is a very slow process. At around 0130 hrs he was safely down off the crags but there was still a long carry out to Cockley Beck via Mosedale. A request for RAF helicopter assistance had been made on two occasions through the night but due to the very poor weather and imminent bad weather front, the crews were unable to assist.All the team vehicles were sent round the Cockley Beck ( bottom of Hardknott Pass on the Wrynose side) and there were some 12 team vehicles there when the stretcher party arrived. This included the Langdale Ambleside ambulance which was possibly going to be used to convey the casualty back over Hardknott Pass to the waiting ambulance at Brotherilkeld telephone box. The casualty was eventually taken off to West Cumberland Hospital and is recovering well with relatively minor injuries and some heavy bruising to his back and knee. The incident was over by 0400hrs which allowed team members to get home, have a shower and a nap before going to work.The local media were reporting the incident the following morning. The Whitehaven News spoke to the team leader who gave them the details but also discussed the continuing existence of the Hard Knott British Telecomm Phone Box. There is a proposal to remove it but the Team’s view is to support it’s retention. There is no mobile reception in Eskdale, the first phone for 5 miles and used frequently by groups that get lost on Scafell and go down the wrong valley. It is still in the middle of nowhere at the bottom of Hard Knott and is vital for reporting accidents quickly. It was used when the RAF helicopter crashed in 1991 to sort out logistics and is used regularly to report road traffic accidents. There have been two calls made from it in recent weeks for air ambulance jobs. BT are planning to remove it within six months.
Incident started at 19:17 and ended at 04:00 making 8.7 hrs in total.