The Royal Navy Sea King winched the couple from the mountainside

The Royal Navy Sea King winched the couple from the mountainside

An injured walker was airlifted from a Highland peak after falling more than 650ft down an icy slope.

The woman and her companion, who was also injured when he went to her aid, were on Ben Oss in the southern

Highlands yesterday when the incident happened.

A Royal Navy Sea King helicopter crew from HMS Gannet in Ayrshire was scrambled at 5.15pm after the walkers made

a 999 call to Central Scotland Police.

Killin Mountain Rescue Team was also called out to the site on the 1,029 m (3,376ft) munro, but had not arrived on the

scene by the time the aircraft arrived at about 5.50pm.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said the woman had plunged 200m (656ft) down a 45-degree icy slope.

The spokesperson said: “After the woman’s fall, her walking partner had left the ridge they had been traversing to go to

her aid and also slipped a short distance en route, though sustained only minor injuries.

“Arriving on scene, the Mark 5 Sea King’s crew was quick to spot the stricken walkers, as they were sheltered from

some of the worst of the weather beneath an orange cover.

“With no possibility of landing the aircraft, it was clear that a winch recovery would be required and the duty observer –

navigator – Lieutenant Commander Rob Suckling was put down on 150ft of wire to pick up the first casualty.

“Conditions underfoot on the icy mountainside were treacherous and Rob immediately got the male walker with the

minor injuries into a strop and up to the aircraft.

“The female, who had fallen a significant distance, had sustained a leg injury and, due to the icy slope, it was not

possible to put a stretcher down to recover her.

“Rob, who is already trained to ambulance technician level and is in the middle of completing his full paramedic’s

licence, was able to splint her leg before winching her up to the helicopter.”

Lt Cdr Suckling said: “We were in a hover at about 2,000ft, so I reckon she must have fallen from a little over 2,500ft up

on the mountain.

“Visibility at the site was not too bad, but it was bitterly cold and there were snow showers to contend with.

“The two of them were well equipped but cold and, with darkness falling rapidly, we really wanted to get in and out of the

scene as quickly as possible.

“Obviously the temperature was plummeting – in my opinion, they certainly wouldn’t have survived on the mountain

overnight and, with her leg injured, there’s no way she could have walked off the hill.

“Once we had got both of them into the aircraft we routed to Glasgow to deliver them to hospital. My colleague Chief

Petty Officer Dave Rigg, who is also a paramedic, and I administered pain relief en route and made sure that the

casualties were as comfortable as possible.”

The two walkers were handed over to the ambulance service in Glasgow before the helicopter returned to base.

The pilots for this rescue were Lieutenant Commander Lloyd Shanahan and Lieutenant Mark Rose, for whom it was his

20th search and rescue mission.

The job marked their 60th emergency sortie of the year to date, in this the 60th anniversary of Royal Navy helicopter

search and rescue.

It rounded off a busy weekend for the HMS Gannet duty crews with a further four calls from Friday afternoon – three

back-to-back calls lasting from 2.15pm on Friday afternoon to Saturday at 2.15am when they returned to base almost

exactly 12 hours later – to Perth, Stonehaven, Glencoe and Stranraer.

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