Duddon and Furness team members in action during the Cumbria floods. Photo: Duddon and Furness MRT

Duddon and Furness team members in action during the Cumbria floods. Photo: Duddon and Furness MRT

Members of a mountain rescue team who took part in the operation to help Cumbria during Storm Desmond have raised more than £2,000 for flood victims.

Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team held a fundraising day at an Ulverston supermarket on Friday during which they collected cash for the Cumbria Community Foundation.

Team spokesman John Wealthall also described how the volunteers of the Foxfield-based team joined mountain rescue team members from across the country in the huge emergency effort as a record amount of rain fell on Cumbria at the beginning of the month, leading to widespread flooding.

He said: “The Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team, along with colleagues from across Cumbria, and from as far afield as Derbyshire and north Wales and were in action for the whole of the weekend sending swiftwater rescue technicians to Kendal, Keswick and Carlisle.

“From Saturday 4 December onwards, our teams, along with all other emergency services and volunteer groups were out all day and night due to the number of people who needed to be helped from their homes and because roads were blocked by water preventing the teams return to their bases.

“This continued on a rotating shift basis until about 7pm on Monday 7 December. The work involved being in deep muddy waters, up to chest height, where every step had the potential to be down a blown drain cover hole, in order to ferry people to safety.

“In addition our base at Foxfield was staffed from early Saturday morning on a continuous basis, until the evening of Monday 7 December.

“The role of those at base was to keep in contact with the command centre at Penrith and organise people, vehicles and equipment to travel to the affected areas. They were also there to help clean and clear kit away as teams returned to base after a long day or night.

“This was a tremendous effort by all those involved, whether they be professionals or part of mountain rescue teams or other volunteer organisations such as the RNLI and our thanks go to all those who helped in this operation.”

Mr Wealthall said the team organised a fundraising day at Booth’s in Ulverston on Friday to help raise money for those affected by the floods.

He said: “16 team members, along with members of the DFMRT supporters’ organisation were at Booth’s, Ulverston, from 9am to 7pm.

“The amount raised in this time was £2,257, a tremendous sum which will be added to the Cumbria Community Foundation for flood victims and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the management of Booth’s, Ulverston for their permission to allow us to do this at such short notice and to members of the public who so generously donated money on that day.”

Donations to the Cumbria Flood Recovery Appeal can be made via the Cumbria Community Foundation website. Donations to the team can be made on the Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team website.

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