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

‘Find My Friends, the Apple App, helps to save a man’s life in the English Lakes’

Dove Crag
Grid reference: NY 37603 10897
24/07/2017
Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team Undertake Five Rescues in Less than 24 Hours

‘Find My Friends, the Apple App, helps to save a man’s life in the English Lakes’

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, in the Lake District National Park, undertook five rescues between 1500 on Sunday and 1500 Monday afternoon.

The first rescue on Sunday afternoon involved a woman from the Stockport area who had suffered a knee injury on Place Fell. She was treated on scene and stretched to the valley bottom. The woman and her partner had quite rightly planned a walk so that they would get off the mountain before the forecasted heavy rain and cloud arrived from the North, but the injury slowed them down and unfortunately the first rescue was undertaken as the weather front passed through. As we were placing the woman into one of our four Land Rover Ambulances the team were alerted by the Police to two young walkers who had become stuck on a narrow ledge on a difficult section of Striding Edge on Helvellyn. This rescue was finally completed late on Sunday evening and team members returned home wet and tired in the dark.

Mike Rippon picks up the story from Monday: ‘At around 0900 we received an emergency call from Cumbria Police reporting that a young walker had fallen and suffered a head injury on Hart Crag. The Team Leader kept contacted the man and made an effort to attempt to identify where he had fallen so that the assembling Team could go to his aid.’

Mike Blakey, Team Leader continues: ‘Luckily this young man had a good mobile data signal. Usually, this would mean that we could send a text message which would allow us to locate him on our mapping systems. Unfortunately this didn’t work due to incorrect settings on the man’s mobile phone. Whilst team members arrived at the rescue base and then began ascending the mountain, I continued to attempt to work out the man’s location by speaking to him on the phone. It became apparent that he had no idea where he was as he had spent the night on the mountain having failed to locate the Priest Hole cave where he had planned to stay the evening before. He had set off in the forecast heavy rain and cloud and having spent the night in thick cloud he began to descend the wrong way in the morning and the fell into the top of a steep gully well above the cave.’

‘The man had given the name of a nearby hill, Hart Crag, in his first 999 call but this didn’t stack up with the description of the area he was describing on the phone. As the young man was unable to provide an accurate location, I asked him to allow me to use ‘find my friends’ on the Apple iPhone. This allowed me to see his location on a satellite image on my iPad and we were then able to work out a grid reference to send the team and two helicopters which were on route. As I was at my desk it was then over to the Team members on the ground to continue the rescue and for me to reassure the young man that help was on the way. He was clearly very scared and ups