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Three Rescues in One Day for Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team - man dies after accident on Helvellyn

Helvellyn
Grid reference: NY 34300 15200
17/02/2015
Three Rescues in One Day for Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team – man dies after accident on Helvellyn

A local mountaineer was found laying seriously injured by a mountain rescue search dog at around 0100 on the morning of Wednesday 18th February. The 68 year old man from the Penrith area had set off earlier the day before to ascend Helvellyn in the English Lakes. He was very experienced and well equipped.

The team were alerted by the man’s wife at around 2040 on Tuesday 17th when he failed to return from his day out on the mountain, which he had climbed on only a few days earlier. Patterdale and Keswick Mountain Rescue Teams initially searched to locate the man’s car and then mounted a major operation including over forty team members from five mountain rescue teams and a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from RN Gannet, Prestwick, in Scotland.

Mike Blakey, Patterdale MRT Team Leader said: ‘This was a jointly coordinated operation between Keswick MRT and Patterdale MRT. In a situation like this where we have located a vehicle we search all possible routes and locations where a missing person may be, on both sides of the mountain. Given the size of the area we requested support from Kirkby Stephen and Penrith mountain rescue teams, the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs and a Royal Navy helicopter.’

‘During the very early hours of Wednesday morning Patterdale MRT’s search dog and handler located the missing man on the headwall of Helvellyn. Two doctors and further team members were on scene within minutes, as they were involved in the search nearby. The man, who was unconscious, was treated on scene whilst other members made their way to assist’

‘The weather conditions were atrocious and as a result, despite several attempts by the Sea King rescue helicopter, the helicopter was forced to retreat to the Greenside Mines area where it waited for about two hours until the teams were able to carry the man down the mountain on a stretcher.’

‘During the evacuation, which lasted four and half hours, the man suffered a cardiac arrest. The rescue teams, including three doctors and a paramedic by that time, were able to carry out cardiac pulmonary resuscitation until he reached the major trauma centre in Newcastle. A rescue team medic stayed with the casualty throughout the flight to hospital.’

‘Sadly the man who has not yet been formally identified, died in hospital from his injuries at around 0630. On behalf of all those involved in this very difficult rescue of a fellow mountaineer we would like to express our deepest sympathy to his wife, family and friends. He was well equipped and knew what he was doing in a place that he loved.’

‘I would also like to express our thanks to all of our colleagues in other Teams, the Royal Navy Seaking Crew, Police and Air Rescue Coordination Centre in Kinloss for their support throughout.