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Lake District MRT teams deployed to flooded areas

Keswick MRT carrying out evacuations in York Credit: Keswick MRT

Lake District mountain rescue team volunteers gave up their Boxing Day celebrations to go across and help communities in Lancashire and Yorkshire who have been hit by Storm Eva causing flooding.

Forty volunteers trained in swift water rescue were deployed with 4x4 vehicles to carry out evacuations and assist the emergency services. The support involved eight of the twelve Lake District teams.

"On Christmas Day and Boxing Day we had more than a hundred team members on standby in case there was further flooding in Cumbria. "When this didn't materialise we were asked to go and assist those communities who had been affected by flooding in Lancashire and York.

"In total we have sent across forty swift water rescue technicians to help with rescues and evacuations.

"These volunteers have given up their Christmas celebrations to help communities in need. I'm proud to work beside them and thank their friends and family for supporting them."

– Richard Warren, Chairman LDSAMRA
Keswick Mountain Rescue Team carry out evacuations in York Credit: Keswick Mountain Rescue Team

All team members have since returned to Cumbria as hundreds of walkers take to fells to make the most of the sunny weather over the Lake District National Park.

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Reports of man locked in mountain rescue box

Keswick Mountain Rescue's stretcher box. Credit: Keswick Mountain Rescue

A man who climbed into a mountain rescue team's stretcher box to take shelter ended up being locked inside for more than 12 hours, according to reports.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team were contacted by another man, who said he'd been walking past the box with his son, when they heard "a knocking sound", and someone shouting "let me out!".

The team has not been able to confirm the reports, but has warned people not to enter the box unless it's essential because of the weather, and to put the equipment back inside after they've finished using it, and let the team know.

The warning has been echoed by Keswick Mountain Rescue Team, who posted the story on their Facebook page:

"As a word of caution on a possibly humorous note this was sent from WMRT, we haven't been able to validate its accuracy but its worth a read just incase you ever find yourself at our box on Styhead Pass":

Myself & my son were walking past the mountain rescue hut at Styhead on Wednesday 26th August 2015, when we heard a knocking sound.

I said to my son did he hear that & we both thought we were imaging it as it was extremely windy, however we then heard " let me out".

We then realised that the knocking was coming from the box, which you can imagine was very strange & unusual. I then heard another cry of "let me out" , after which I spoke to the shelter, "what's going on"?

There we started a conversation with someone who was inside the shelter. We released the latches & with some uneasiness opened the door to the shelter, when we saw a young man all hunched up inside.

He started to get out & informed us that he got caught in a storm the previous night & took refuge in the shelter, only to find that whilst he was asleep someone had locked him in!

He had been in there for over twelve hours waiting for someone to come by to let him out.

He was ok, just very relieved to get out of the box!! Must admit we did find it very amusing...not your usual every day event! Keep up your good work.

– Mystery note to Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team

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New rescue aircraft 'more powerful' than Sea King

The new coastguard helicopters Credit: Mountain Rescue

RAF Sea King helicopters are being replaced by new coastguard aircraft after 35 years of service.

Richard Warren, Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team said:

The month of August has also been a historic month for one of our mountain rescue teams on the west coast. Wasdale MRT was called out to a rescue on Scafell Pike on the 17th August where a lady had broken her ankle. Due to a hazardous stretcher carry back down the mountain, the team leader called in helicopter support and was extremely surprised and pleased when he was advised that a Sikorsky S92 from Humberside was being scrambled to their location. This much larger and heavier, more powerful and greater capacity helicopter has a very distinctive engine sound that Cumbrians will soon become used to and teams will become experienced in the fierce downwash which blows you off your feet if you are not secure. This rescue was the very first occasion where the new Bristow helicopter had flown into Cumbria on an operational mission, a truly historic event for the teams.

– Richard Warren, Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team

RAF Sea Kings replaced

RAF Sea King helicopters are being replaced Credit: Mountain Rescue

RAF Sea King helicopters will train with Cumbria's mountain rescue teams for the final time today.

The Sea King's are being decommissioned after 35 years of service and will be replaced by new coastguard helicopters.

The yellow aircraft, which have been a welcome sight for the 12 mountain rescue teams, will be replaced by new red and white liveried coastguard helicopters under a 10-year multi-million pound contract.

Lake District mountain rescue teams handled 474 incidents during 2014, of which there were 11 fatalities. The majority of rescues are managed without helicopter support. The teams are all charities and volunteers are unpaid. It costs around £500,000 a year to run the 12 teams which is funded through voluntary donations.

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