125 in 2023
Piers Gill, Scafell Pike
Other Agencies
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We were called by Cumbria Police about two walkers who were reported to be stuck on steep ground inside Piers Gill. A walker on the path on the East side of the gill had noticed them after they were shouting for help. They appeared to be unhurt but this was from a significant distance away. The Team Leader made a swift callout and also contacted Duddon and Furness MRT for additional crag support, knowing this could be a difficult technical rescue in the worst case. Both teams met at Gavel Neese and made their way up to the likely access point.
As any rope access into Piers Gill is inherently hazardous, helicopter support was also requested via a Coastguard helicopter with winching capability. Rescue 199 from Prestwick duly attended but unfortunately were not able to effect the rescue via winch due to the weather conditions requiring high power and the resulting significant downdraft creating a real risk to the walkers below. They returned home to their base in Scotland.
A rope rescue was therefore needed and the teams rigged a rope system and then descended to the walkers. Once on scene it was quickly realised that the condition of the casualties was more serious than had been thought. The walkers had been stuck in this position for about 24 hours and had suffered injuries from slips and falls. Helicopter support was again requested for a swift evacuation from the scene once the walkers had been evacuated by rope from the gill. Rescue 199 returned and with some tremendous flying were able to land close to the teams for a short transfer. The first casualty was flown down to the valley where other team members made a more thorough assessment. After extraction, R199 then received the second casualty on a stretcher, flew down to the valley, picked up the first casualty, and then flew both to hospital for further assessment and treatment. Team members on the hill then de-rigged and returned to their respective bases to reset the vehicles. We wish both casualties a swift recovery. Thanks to Duddon and Furness MRT and the Rescue 199 crew for their support (twice!) in this callout.

Incident started at 13:08 and ended at 23:48 making 10.7 hrs in total. There were 29 Wasdale team members involved and the incident occured at NY211083. Total rescuer hours: 310