Child, 10, airlifted to hospital after falling from tree at Gwynedd waterfall

Mountain rescuers helped locate the child on Friday 16 April. Credit: Ogwen Valley MRO

A 10-year-old child had to be airlifted to hospital after falling from a tree onto rocks at a Gwynedd waterfall.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation (MRO) were called out to help search for the casualty on Friday afternoon, after a spelling mistake resulted in an ambulance being dispatched to the wrong location.

The team eventually found the child, who had sustained back and head injuries, at Rhaeadr Bach waterfall.

They were airlifted by the Coastguard to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor to receive medical attention.

A Coastguard helicopter airlifted the child to hospital in Bangor. Credit: Ogwen Valley MRO

The child had fallen four metres from a tree, to land on rocks at the base of the waterfall.

As mobile phone coverage in the area was poor, the casualty group used the What3Words app to send its location to the ambulance. The mapping service can identify any location to within three metres and is becoming increasingly popular with the emergency services in remote rural areas.

However, due to a spelling mistake, the ambulance arrived at Aber Falls instead of nearby Rhaeadr Bach.

The volunteer-run Ogwen Valley MRO where then enlisted to help search for the child. On the way to Aber Falls, they met someone who was able to provide a more precise location.

The rescue team administered first aid and requested support from the Coastguard helicopter, as the child had suffered head and back injuries.

The child was then placed on a stretcher, winched up into the helicopter and flown to Ysbyty Gwynedd.

“The adventurous casualty had fallen four metres,” said Ogwen Valley MRO in a Facebook post.

"We hope our small casualty bounced well and is out and about soon.”

Rhaeadr Bach, on the slopes of Carnedd Gwenllian, is one of two waterfalls at the head of the Aber Valley, near Abergwyngregyn.

Nearby is the larger Aber Falls, also known as Rhaeadr Fawr, which is a popular destination for walkers and day-trippers.