The walkers were near the top of the gorge in Upper Eskdale, centre right on the skyline

The walkers were near the top of the gorge in Upper Eskdale, centre right on the skyline

Two men and their dog were rescued from one of the Lake District’s remotest spots in an eight-hour operation involving two volunteer teams and an RAF helicopter.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team was called out at 4.15pm yesterday, Tuesday, when the walkers got lost while coming down from Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.

The two walkers who were in their late 20s were on holiday from Norfolk. Rescuers said weather conditions were atrocious with very heavy rainfall sweeping across west Cumbria in bands.

The team used the Sarloc smartphone system which pinpointed their position at the very top of Eskdale, in the ravine below Esk Hause, between Esk Pike and Great End.

A team spokesperson said the site was about as far from a road as is possible in the Lake District.

One of the men also had an ankle injury.

The spokesperson said: “In view of the long, difficult nature of any stretcher carry from this position, Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team was also called to help.

“On a good day this requires a three-hour walk out. A stretcher carry from here was inevitably going to be extremely strenuous.

A call was put out to the Duddon and Furness MRT to assist. The casualty was located and given casualty care for his injured ankle, a suspect fracture or severe sprain.

“The two men were found by Wasdale members and rewarmed in a group shelter before the stretcher carry started.

“This involved long sections of hand-over-hand-style movement due to the loose nature of the ground, even with Duddon members arriving all the time to help.”

The carry down to Great Moss took the teams two hours. The team said it would have taken another four hours to stretcher the injured man back to the roadhead at Wha House Farm in Eskdale, so they requested help from the RAF and a Sea King search and rescue helicopter flew from Valley in Anglesey to the area.

The spokesperson said the aircraft flew up Upper Eskdale to the cloudbase and ‘semi-landed’ with its wheels touching the ground but rotors still maintaining a hover, and the two men and the dog were flown to Furness General Hospital, Barrow-in-Furness, for further treatment.

The rescue, which involved 18 volunteers from the Wasdale team and 15 from Duddon and Furness, ended at half past midnight today.

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