16 in 2023
Scafell Pike
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Other Agencies
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Wasdale Mountain Rescue team were alerted by Cumbria Police at 18.26 hrs on Monday 20 February about a lone walker who had reported himself as lost on the ridge between Scafell Pike and Great End in the Lake District. Mobile phone reception was very poor, but a location was quickly established and although the weather was deteriorating with thick mist and rain, he was asked to stay where he was and shelter from the wind. Under these conditions, a “talk-off” with rapidly declining phone battery and areas of known no signal at all would have meant the Team Leader losing contact with him, and an impossibly large area to search in very dangerous ground.

The team responded quickly as we were already at the rescue base for a training night. Two fast team members, travelling very light with immediate first aid, warm clothing and a shelter were dispatched as there was concern that the casualty would already be very hypothermic. Back up parties followed with additional equipment. The lost walker was not found at the original location, and contact had been lost so a search of the area was mounted in exceptionally difficult conditions. As we had expected to find him at the original location, many of the team members were carrying heavy loads, including stretcher halves. Also an Autopulse which is a life saving mechanical device for carrying out prolonged CPR in the event of a cardiac arrest resulting from severe hypothermia.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team and Cockermouth search dogs were requested and they approached the search area from the North. By the early hours of the morning he had still not been found and teams reluctantly came off the hill having done all they could overnight in extremely cold and wet conditions.

The search continued as callout 18

Incident started at 18:31 and ended at 14:47 making 20.3 hrs in total. There were 37 Wasdale team members involved and the incident occured at NY223078. Total rescuer hours: 751