An RAF Sea King flew the man to hospital in Swansea

RAF Valley's search and rescue crews have carried out 10,000 missions

The crew of the search and rescue Sea King helicopter based at RAF Valley on Anglesey carried out the flight’s 10,000th rescue over the weekend when it went to the aid of an injured walker.

The incident was just one of four rescues on a busy Saturday the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was called to deal with.

The volunteers were called out to injured walkers, scramblers and a cragfast dog as Easter crowds descended on the area.

The Ogwen Valley team’s first callout came when a woman fell 15m and knocked one of her companions off his feet, leading to him being injured too.

Chris Lloyd of the Ogwen Valley MRO said: “The morning cloud lifted from the tops to reveal a superb and memorable day for the visitors to the Ogwen Valley.

“A party of four – two couples, middle aged and from Runcorn area – were just part of the hundreds of people making the notorious scramble up the North Ridge of Tryfan.

“Unfortunately, as one of the women climbed up to her partner, she lost her footing and fell about 50ft.

“She bounced a couple of times before coming to rest on a ledge, her continued fall having been prevented by the second man in the party. He was knocked off balance and fell about 20ft hitting his female partner.

“The first lady to fall suffered lacerations to the head and injuries to her arm, leg and possible pelvis. The man suffered head injuries and his partner suffered an ankle injury.

“Fortunately, a senior member of Keswick MRT was first on scene and was able to call for mountain rescue. Two team members were deployed to carry out immediate casualty care.”

The rescue team requested help from the Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley and a stretcher party was mustered at the team’s base.

Mr Lloyd said: “As the stretcher party made its way up the North Ridge, the helicopter was able to get to the casualty site and eventually winch the three casualties aboard. While they were flown to Ysbyty Gwynedd, the remaining man walked off the mountain with team members.

“After some refreshment at Oggie Base, he was delivered to his friend’s car – his friend having handed over the keys before being winched – and was able to drive to the hospital.”

Tryfan's North Ridge was the scene of another rescue. Photo: Richard Webb CC-BY-SA-2.0

Tryfan's North Ridge was the scene of another rescue. Photo: Richard Webb CC-BY-SA-2.0

The rescue ended about 3.30pm.

Team members were soon back in action. While they were re-packing kit and grabbing some late lunch, two people drove to their base to report the sighting of a lone black labrador stuck on a ledge on the lower slopes of Pen yr Ole Wen.

Mr Lloyd said: “At about 4.15pm, three team members drove down to the mass of visitors and cars at the Idwal visitor centre, and went in search of the dog. At this stage it was no longer visible from the road.”

As the rescuers reached the site where the dog has last been seen, they received an emergency call to respond to an incident on Tryfan Bach.

Mr Lloyd said: “The search party of three returned to the valley floor and headed back up the lower slopes of the North Ridge of Tryfan.

“Here a couple, from near Bristol, had deviated from one of the many paths in the area. Whilst descending a steep heather-covered slope, the woman, who was from Ecuador, slipped and dislocated her shoulder whilst arresting her slide.

“Due to the steep location of the casualty and the injury, 22 Squadron was requested once more. This was the 9,999th rescue by C Flight, 22 Squadron RAF Valley.

“The three members of the mountain rescue team arrived almost at the same time as the winchman. And once more, a stretcher was deployed up the mountainside. She was treated and winched aboard. Her partner walked down with team members back to Oggie Base for refreshment before being delivered to his car. This incident was concluded shortly after 7.30pm.”

As team members were once again sorting kit, they received reports of screams heard by a number of people in the Cwm Bochlwyd. Shortly before 8pm, three team members went to investigate.

In the meantime, the warden at Idwal Cottage youth hostel reported that friends had said that a man was overdue. Mr Lloyd said: “As the three MRT members made their way up to Cwm Bochlwyd at dusk, a small cluster of people could be seen low down on the ascent to Bochlwyd. On investigation, they found the injured woman sitting down with her partner, having been assisted by other walkers including the overdue man.

“The young woman, in her early 30s and from London, had injured her ankle high up in Cwm Bochlwyd.

“Assisted by her partner and fellow walkers, she had made a very brave effort to descend the steep and rocky footpath.

“She and her partner from Kent had also been up the North Ridge of Tryfan earlier in the afternoon and had descended into Cwm Bochlwyd.

“They had become separated for a short time, just as the woman injured her ankle. Her screams of pain and for the attention of her partner, were heard throughout the cwm on the glorious and calm early evening. With the onset of dusk and still some distance to the road, 22 Squadron was requested again.

“Shortly afterwards, once more the familiar sound of the yellow Sea King helicopter was heard coming up the valley – rescue number 10,000; congratulations C Flight.

“The young woman was winched aboard and flown down to hospital in Bangor. Her partner joined team members walking down to the road. He was then driven to his car and given directions to the hospital. This incident was concluded at about 9.30 on a glorious moonlit night in the Ogwen Valley.”

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