Jugger Howe, scene of the rescue. Photo: Martin Dawes CC-BY-SA-2.0

Jugger Howe, scene of the rescue. Photo: Martin Dawes CC-BY-SA-2.0

Six walkers had to be rescued after two of them became unwell in freezing conditions while on a challenge route.

The six, aged between 19 and 45, were airlifted yesterday, Sunday, from the North York Moors by a Sea King helicopter after becoming disoriented close to Jugger Howe near Ravenscar.

Members of the Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team joined a search for the walkers on the moors and the helicopter, from RAF Leconfield in east Yorkshire spotted the group.

Chief Inspector Bruce Prendergast of North Yorkshire Police said: “At 6.50pm, a group of six walkers was reported missing on the Lyke Wake Walk 24-hour challenge between Fylingdales and Ravenscar.

“One of the group phoned a family member to report they were in Jugger ravine and two of the party, females in their 40s, had become poorly. The group was unable to move from the location, experiencing freezing temperatures and required assistance to return safely from the route.

“Following a search they were located at 8.30pm by the RAF Sea King helicopter. The helicopter was able to bring all six walkers safely from the scene and then flew on to Scarborough General Hospital with the two ladies who had been reported poorly while the others were transported to join them separately.

“I’m pleased to be able to report that the females have been seen and are fine and the rest of the party are safe and well.”

The Lyke Wake Walk is a 64km (40-mile) route from Scarth Wood Moor near Osmotherley to Ravenscar on the North Yorkshire coast. It was devised by farmer the late Bill Cowley who first walked the route in 1955.

Its name comes from the Lyke Wake Dirge, a dialect poem detailing the wake over a corpse – the lyke. Male walkers who complete the route are known as dirgers and women as witches.

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