Seven-hour rescue after walker falls on Scafell Pike

Posted: 11/10/2011 11:11:08 by Nigel Nixon

A MAN fell 30 metres while walking with his young son at Scafell Pike on Saturday - triggering a seven-hour rescue.

Two mountain rescue teams were involved in the difficult operation of evacuating the walker - who suffered head injuries - from broken, steep ground.

Thirteen members of Wasdale Mountain Rescue and 12 volunteers with Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue were alerted by a nearby couple who heard the fall.

After reaching the summit, the man, in his early thirties, took a slight deviation off route on his way down in poor visibility, which led to Dropping Crag.

The walker, on a camping trip from Cambridgeshire with his son and a friend, fell and sustained head injuries and cuts.

The couple who heard the accident administered first aid and called for help.

A team doctor treated the man’s head injury and the walkers were warmed up in a bivy tent.

Rescuers said all three, particularly the young boy, were at risk of hypothermia because of the cold, wet weather.

The boy’s father was put into a specialist vacuum mattress to protect his neck and spine and stretchered off the mountain.

At 978 metres (3,209 ft), Scafell is England's highest mountain.

Rescuers said the carry down was ‘extremely arduous’ because of the terrain.

The man was eventually transferred to a road ambulance at Bracken Close and taken to Whitehaven Hospital for further treatment.

The incident came to an end at around 9.45pm.

A spokesman for Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team said without the support of the Duddon team, the rescue would have taken much longer.

While that incident was ongoing, both teams were called to help a young fell runner who had suffered a puncture wound to his ankle during the Wasdale Show fell race at Kirkfell.

Twelve members administered first aid and carried the runner down on a stretcher to a road ambulance at Wasdale Head.

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