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Keswick Mountain Festival's programme released

Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee is set to speak as part of the 2015 lineup Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Keswick Mountain Festival has unveiled the details of its 2015 programme.

Olympic, European and Commonwealth triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee is set to be a guest speaker at the event.

The festival will run from May 14 to 17 in the Lake District, and will offer a mixture of outdoor activities, speakers, sports events, and live music.

Mountain Rescue Team helicopter training

A new type of helicopter has been put through its paces in the Lake District, before it starts coming to the aid of walkers who get into trouble on the fells. Rescue teams from across Cumbria have been given training today, to see how the new aircraft differs from the RAF Sea King, which has been used for decades. Jenny Longden reports.

New Helicopter for Lake District Mountain Rescue

The new helicopter in action Credit: ITV Border

Training has taken place to familiarise Mountain Rescue volunteers with a new helicopter to be used in search and rescue missions.

The Sikorsky S92 was flown in to Thirlmere in the Lake District this morning.

From April it will replace some of the RAF Sea King helicopters used by Mountain Rescue teams across the UK, after the contract for Mountain Rescue helicopters was awarded to Bristow Helicopter Ltd in 2013.

A slightly different helicopter, the Agusta Westland AW189, will be used by the Lake District team when it arrives at Prestwick next January.

The new helicopters are slightly bigger, faster and more powerful than the Sea King.

Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association Chairman Richard Warren said:

This is state of the art, the rotor blades are heated so it doesn't ice up, it has got GPS so that it can hover very very carefully over a location, it is faster, bigger, takes a bigger payload, takes two stretchers, 11 team members, so yeah, it has got a rear ramp, so it has got all the bits and pieces plus a double winch so, fingers crossed we are going to get a really good service from Bristow.

– Richard Warren, Lake District Mountain Rescue Team Association
Team members are briefed inside the helicopter Credit: ITV Border

Mountain rescue teams training day in Lakes

Nine mountain rescue teams from Cumbria are taking part in a joint training day in the Lake District.

The day will consist of team members being trained to use the new Sikorsky helicopter, which is more modern and larger than the Sea King.

Two groups of 30 mountain rescuers will each be put through morning and afternoon training sessions.

The teams taking part are:

  • Cockermouth MRT
  • Cumbria Ore Mines Rescue Unit (COMRU)
  • Coniston MRT
  • Duddon and Furness MRT
  • Langdale and Ambleside MRT
  • Kendal MRT
  • Keswick MRT
  • Kirby Stephen MRT
  • Wasdale MRT

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