Brecon MRT members with the St Athan Coastguard helicopter during the 100th rescue. Photo: Brecon MRT

Brecon MRT members with the St Athan Coastguard helicopter during the 100th rescue. Photo: Brecon MRT

A mountain rescue team clocked up its 100th rescue of the year on the last day of 2015.

Brecon Mountain Rescue Team was called out on New Year’s Eve to help an injured walker below south Wales’s highest mountain.

The team’s volunteers went to the aid of a woman in Cwm Llwch, below Pen y Fan, who suffered a suspected dislocated knee when she slipped descending the hillside from Tommy Jones’s obelisk.

A team spokesperson said: “The Maritime and Coastguard Agency rescue helicopter from St Athan attended but was unable to winch the casualty from the site due to high winds.

“The lady was stretchered down the treacherously muddy path to below Llyn Cwm Llwch where the helicopter had managed to land. She was then flown to hospital in Cardiff.

“On this occasion the team worked alongside colleagues from Central Beacons and Western Mountain Rescue Teams and the MCG rescue helicopter from St Athan.”

The hundredth rescue capped a busy year for the Brecon team. The team has a growing water search and rescue capability and has been called to kayak accidents, water searches and in the past few weeks were put on standby by Dyfed Powys Police as part of its flood response strategy.

In September the team was presented with the Extra Mile award by the Carmarthen Journal for the part it played in the river search for 11-year-old Cameron Comey in February, alongside colleagues from Dyfed Powys Police, Mid and West Fire and Rescue Service, Ferryside Lifeboat, Coastguard and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The team spokesperson said: “The team has also worked alongside the fire and rescue service attending remote road traffic incidents. One example of this was a Land Rover that had crashed down a snowy gully in Radnor Forest in November. The assistance of the fire boat from Hay on Wye to help with the rescue of two very cold casualties from a hard-to- access section on the bank of the Claerwen Reservoir in September was also much appreciated.

“The police have requested the assistance of the team in searches in the mountains, countryside, farmland and towns looking for lost walkers, older people living with dementia, children, vulnerable and sometimes despondent adults.

“A less talked-about aspect of mountain rescue is the call to assist in searching for and bringing a person home to their families when the worst has happened either through accident or intention.

“There have, of course, been the searches and rescues that mountain rescue is most commonly associated with: finding lost hillwalkers, rescuing people and dogs who have got into difficulty on the hill through illness or injury.

“The most memorable and unforeseen call for 2015 was the lightning strikes on Cribyn and Corn Ddu in July when two walkers were tragically killed and one seriously injured.

Woody is stretchered from Pen y Fan after falling 600ft. Photo: Brecon MRT

Woody is stretchered from Pen y Fan. Photo: Brecon MRT

“Team members couldn’t forget Woody the Spaniel who survived a 100m fall from the top of Pen y Fan in August.

“There have been big changes in 2015 with the retiring of the iconic yellow RAF Sea King helicopters from active service in the UK. For 50 years mountain rescue has worked with the RAF.

“In Wales the crews from RMB Chivenor in Devon and Valley in Anglesey demonstrated truly awesome skills extracting distressed, seriously ill or injured casualties from difficult situations in all weathers especially in the popular Ystradfellte waterfalls area.

“It was an honour to have worked alongside them. The team also work very closely with the three neighbouring MRTs of Central Beacons, Longtown and Western Search and Mountain Rescue, Sarda South Wales search dogs, Coastguard and fire and rescue services, air ambulance and of course, nearly always, the Welsh ambulance service.”

The Brecon team started 2016 with a callout on New Year’s Day to a woman in New Radnor. “She was walking on a regular, familiar route that she and her family often walk when she became lost and disorientated in bad weather,” the spokesperson said. “She was located, re-warmed and reunited with her family for her 51st birthday celebrations in the evening.”

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