One of the busiest Mountain Rescue Teams in England. 2017 our 53rd year

Man recovered from Helvellyn after major search

Helvellyn Head Wall
Grid reference: NY 34303 15246
11/01/2015
On Sunday 11th January 2015 Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team were called by Cumbria Police to assist in the search for a male who was reported missing, possibly on Helvellyn.
The man, from the South of England, was staying at a hotel in the Windermere area and had indicated that he intended to walk up Helvellyn on Thursday 8th January. The last known contact was around lunchtime that day but he was not reported missing until the weekend when he failed to check out of his hotel.

Based on the information available, and in darkness, strong winds and heavy rain Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team began to coordinate a search of the main areas on the Helvellyn range. They called for the assistance of other rescue teams: RAF Leeming; Penrith; and the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs. Between approximately 1700 and 2300 forty-nine mountain rescuers and five search dogs and handlers were involved. Just before midnight the search was postponed with a plan to resume at first light as a sever e weather warning was in force and visibility was worsening during the early hours of Monday.

At 0730 on Monday the following teams joined the search: Keswick; RAF Leeming; Penrith; Kirkby Stephen; and five dogs from the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dog Association and a further three from the Search and Rescue Dog Association (England). A Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from Gannet, Prestwick joined search efforts and airlifted equipment to the mountain.

By 1030, a search dog found a man on the headwall of Helvellyn at the same time as an RAF team spotted the man from above. Within minutes the team were on scene. However, sadly the man had sustained serious injuries and was later pronounced dead at Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team base. During the second day of searching sixty-two mountain rescuers were involved for almost eight hours.

Mike Blakey, Patterdale MRT Team Leader said: ‘In these tragic circumstances the thoughts of all those involved in the man’s rescue are with his family and friends. I would like to thank all of our colleagues in the other mountain rescue teams, mountain rescue search dog handlers, the police and the Royal Navy Sea King Crew who did everything they could to assist in finding this man quickly.’

‘Rescues like this always involve an element of risk. During the night and this morning, in the heavy winds, two search dog handlers sustained minor injuries. We wish them a speedy recovery.’