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

Two fall from Swirral edge, Helvellyn

Brown Cove
Grid reference: NY 34200 15500
17/01/2015
Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team were called by Cumbria police at 4pm on Saturday 17th January following reports of two men having fallen from Swirral Edge on Helvellyn into Brown Cove. Further reports suggested that there was one injured casualty and a further two who were mobile but on very steep snowy ground.

The group, from Widnes, were descending from Helvellyn when one slipped a short distance from the Swirral Edge ridge; the second person then slipped and fell approximately 300m as he was trying to descend to go to the aid of his fallen friend. The third member of the party was assisted off the hill by a passing walker and was brought down to Patterdale Rescue Base.

Patterdale team members were deployed shortly after the initial call followed by additional personnel from Penrith, Keswick and RAF Valley & Leeming Search & Mountain Rescue Teams. Whilst en-route a report came in of a second incident, reporting two casualties in Y Gully on Catstycam. Team members made their way to each location but after searching Y Gully, it became apparent that there was only one incident – with the second incident simply a confusion by passing walkers over the location of the first.

After a brief search in Brown Cove, the two casualties were located on steep icy ground at the head of the valley below Swirral Edge. They were assessed by a Team doctor and one casualty was found to be suffering from multiple injuries including a suspected fractured pelvis; with the second casualty cold but unable to move from his current location. The injured walker was put into a stretcher and lowered a short distance down the fell before being winched on board an RAF Seaking which had flown in from Boulmer. The casualty was then flown to Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle. The second casualty was walked off the fell with assistance from Team members.

Very sadly, the injured casualty died of his injuries during the night. Patterdale Moutain Rescue Team's thoughts are with the family and friends at this difficult time.

A total of 45 mountain rescue personnel were involved in this incident which lasted seven hours.