Edale team members at work in York during the flood rescues. Photo: Edale MRT

Edale team members at work in York during the flood rescues. Photo: Edale MRT

A Peak District rescuer has described his team’s work helping ensure the safety of flood victims across the North of England, and rescuing an injured walker and a man lost on the national park’s highest hill.

Edale Mountain Rescue Team members had to leave their Christmas lunches to aid a woman who was injured while walking with her family.

The walker slipped and injured her ankle near Lose Hill on Friday. 13 Edale MRT members put their Christmas dinner on hold to go to her assistance.

Team leader James Stubley said: “The lady was protected from the elements while being treated for her possible fractured ankle.

“She was then stretchered down to the waiting ambulance on the main road. Members then returned to the team base to repack the team kit before returning to their families.”

The following day the Edale team was called out to help with the developing flooding crisis in Greater Manchester and Lancashire. Mr Stubley said: “Following continual excessive periods of rainfall in neighbouring areas, at mid-morning, colleagues from Oldham MRT sent a request for availability of specialist water-trained members.

“They were tasked by Manchester emergency services to assist with flooding incidents surrounding their area. Other Pennine teams were already tasked, so the call was put out to all the other teams from the Peak District.

“All six other teams provided assets to assist. Edale team sent a water-rescue-equipped vehicle including rescue sled, a driver and three swiftwater rescue technicians to help. They were originally working in the Littleborough area before being immediately tasked to ongoing emergency situations in Salford.

“Later that afternoon we sent a second vehicle with two more specially trained members to further assist. As we were completing in Salford and getting ready to head home, the region received a further request to respond immediately to an ongoing developing flood incident in the city of York.

“Both team Land Rovers with all seven team members responded immediately from Salford, along with a vehicle from Derby Mountain Rescue Team. We arrived in York at midnight and quickly became involved in a major police and mountain rescue team incident.

“Scarborough and Ryedale team was co-ordinating this incident. Present on our arrival were teams from the Lake District and North Yorkshire. Once dressed in our drysuits and personal protective equipment, once again we were tasked to various incidents checking on the welfare of vulnerable members of the public and families, where necessary evacuating to rest centres.

“The team worked throughout the night in varying severities of flood water levels. By the time we returned to the holding point, other teams had arrived to assist. Glossop MRT had also attended from the Peak District along with all teams from across Yorkshire and further teams from Cumbria.”

Edale MRT members worked until 4.30am before handing over to other rescuers. The team’s Land Rovers returned to the base in the Hope Valley and equipment was unpacked and laid out for drying, as there was a potential for the team’s help to be needed later that day.

Mr Stubley said: “Team members left for home, thinking about the devastating scenes they had witnessed over the last 20 hours or so. Most arrived home by 7.30am for a shower and some well earned rest.”

Some team members returned to the base on Sunday to repack equipment from the previous two days’ activities. The team leader said: “Late afternoon, we were notified of a missing person somewhere on Kinder Scout. Our colleagues, Kinder MRT, were initially assessing the incident. Fairly quickly due to circumstances Edale team and Buxton MRT were requested to assist.

“A lone walker had made a 999 call to the police, advising he was lost on Kinder Scout in the mist. Despite best efforts he was unable to find his way down safely. Having been unsuccessful in managing to establish further telephone communications with the male, a full scale search was commenced including four search and rescue dogs.

“The four teams that border Kinder have a predetermined plan for searching the area efficiently. Search sections were deployed to search the main routes off with a view to getting to the plateau to affect a more detailed search. Visibility for searchers was down to about 20m.”

After two hours, one of the search groups was approached by a member of the public who told them they had found a man at the top of Crowden Brook and one of the party was walking them off towards Grindsbrook. “As the description matched the man we were looking for, the section was escorted to the location,” Mr Stubley said.

The walker was fit and well and, after a quick check and a hot drink, he was able to make his own way off with help from members of both Edale and Buxton teams.

Mr Stubley added: “After a busy festive period, as usual the team remains ready to respond to mountain rescue incidents as well as remaining on standby to deploy back to Yorkshire to assist with flooding incidents.

“This is only possible because of the dedication of our team membership and more importantly the understanding and support of team members’ families.”

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