One of the busiest Mountain Rescue Teams in England. 2018 our 54th year

Drunk male located and then rescued from Waterwheel Housing at Greenside Mines

Greenside Mines
Grid reference: NY 36500 17400
At 0300 on Saturday 13th August, Patterdale MRT were called to search for, and subsequently rescue, a 32-year-old male from the North East of England.

Mike Blakey, Team Leader, said: ‘Cumbria Police called the team at about 0300 to report that a man, wearing an Everton football shirt, had gone missing from his accommodation at Greenside mines, near Helvellyn. The man had reportedly drunk a large volume of alcohol and had not been seen by his friends or family since 0100.’

‘The area is notoriously complex with several hazards, including old mine workings and fast flowing deep water. We immediately sent a search dog to the area whilst the rest of the team were mobilising. Given the information available we also called for the assistance of five other mountain rescue search dogs, Penrith MRT, and Keswick MRT to provide a group of swift water technicians to help us to search the gorge and river.'

'At around 0500 the Team’s search dog, Corrie, and handler, Andy, located the missing male who had fallen down a wall about 10ft high and then somehow fallen another 8 to 10 ft into the old waterwheel housing. When the handler got to him he was sleeping off the alcohol having sustained suspected spinal injuries in his fall. Given the large volume of alcohol he said he had consumed it was difficult for the team to fully assess the extent of his injuries.’

‘The remaining team members went to the man’s aid and undertook a complex rescue to evacuate him, firstly from the Waterwheel housing and then up a grassy slope. He was then lifted, horizontally, on the stretcher up the 10ft high wall.'

‘This call-out came in the middle of the night, disturbing the sleep of the team members who are all volunteers and give their time freely. Indeed, many members were about to spend the day at the Lowther Show to help raise funds for the Team. It is disheartening to report that the man was abusive to team members, paramedics and the Coastguard helicopter crew that flew him, in poor weather conditions to James Cook Hospital, Middlesbrough.’

‘The man was released from hospital the next day with some minor spinal injuries and I expect a pretty serious hangover.’
The search and subsequent rescue lasted five hours and involved two mountain rescue teams and six Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs, the Police, Ambulance Service and HM Coastguard helicopter.

Mike finished by saying: ‘It’s a good job he doesn’t have to pay for any of the rescue services, because the bill would probably be quite expensive! We wish him a speedy recovery.'