Plea to exercise locally after mountain rescuer seriously injured in 150m fall

Kirkstone Pass Credit: PA

Cumbria Police is urged people to 'stay at home' after a mountain rescue volunteer was seriously injured after falling 150m during a call-out over the weekend.

Shortly before 12:30am on Saturday, emergency services were contacted regarding concern for a camper from Leicester who was suffering chest pains on Red Screes, in the Lake District. The 47-year-old was with another man from the Liverpool area.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team were deployed to the scene and the man was taken to hospital.

During the rescue a 60-year-old man - a member of the Mountain Rescue team - fell 150m and was airlifted to Preston Hospital. He remains in a serious but stable condition.

Credit: Patterdale Mountain Rescue

Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery, Chair of the Cumbria Resilience Forum, has said "now is not a time to be taking unnecessary risks" and is urging everyone to exercise locally.

He said: "Mountain rescuers have been at the forefront of the county’s response to the Covid crisis, just as they are whenever the county faces civil emergencies or natural disaster.

"I have been in touch with the mountain rescue leaders throughout the weekend and we will do everything we can to support their members through this difficult time.

“Accidents can happen to any of us who use the mountains and the men who called for help on this occasion could have had no idea of what was to happen. However, the Health Protection Regulations make it an offence to travel together and stay away from home overnight in these circumstances and to camp overnight on a mountaintop in winter conditions is a serious undertaking.

Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery. Credit: ITV News

Police have confirmed that the two men, who travelled together and stayed away from home overnight, have been fined for breaching coronavirus rules. They were issued with Fixed Penalty Notices of £200.

Mr Slattery said: “We would appeal to everyone to stay at home as much as possible, exercise locally, and stay well within the limits of their own experience and equipment when exercising in the outdoors.

"It is vital that anybody venturing onto the fells in winter takes note of the weather forecasts and mountain conditions before setting off.

"Now is not a time to be taking unnecessary risks as our ambulance service and hospitals are still under extreme pressure from high numbers of Covid patients.”

Several independent fundraising pages have been set up to support the Patterdale Mountain Rescuer who sustained life-changing injuries.

But Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team is asking people to donate on their website as none of the independent ones have been officially authorised. 

The team says they are very grateful for every donation that has already been made and everything the public has been doing but that "we strongly encourage you to be cautious about donating to independently established funding sites, none of which we have authorised, as it is not uncommon for these to be set up with fraudulent intent.”