Team members stretcher the hypothermic walker from the moors. Photo: Woodhead MRT

Team members stretcher the hypothermic walker from the moors. Photo: Woodhead MRT

A walker lost in a blizzard on the Pennine moors was rescued in a ‘life and death’ operation lasting six hours.

Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team was called out on Tuesday evening when the walker raised the alarm from the hills near Langsett in the North of the Peak District.

Team members were able to speak to the 77-year-old man by mobile phone and use their local knowledge to identify the best area to search.

A team spokesperson said: “A hasty search party was quickly dispatched to locate the walker in very cold and snowy conditions with limited visibility.

“On finding the walker who was very cold and likely to be suffering from hypothermia the team provided shelter, a warm drink and food before looking to evacuate from the moorland.

“The lost walker was unable to walk any more and so was wrapped in a casualty blanket and secured on to a stretcher to carry off the moorland. A rescue helicopter had arrived in the location but was unable to land due to the difficult weather conditions meaning that the stretcher carry was left to the 18 volunteer team members who were now on the moorland.

“The stretcher carry was made treacherously slippy by the fast falling snow and took a real team effort to carry the stretcher for 1½ hours to get the lost walker to the roadhead where the ambulance was waiting.”

The rescue was a 'life and death' situation. Photo: Woodhead MRT

The rescue was a 'life and death' situation. Photo: Woodhead MRT

John Halstead, the Woodhead MRT incident controller, said: “This was a real case of life or death in those conditions. If the alarm had not been raised the situation could have easily been a lot worse”

The incident involved 25 volunteer members of Woodhead MRT. Team members expressed their gratitude to South Yorkshire Police for its support and providing warm drinks once they had reached the road.

South Yorkshire Police said the man was believed to have strayed from a path around Langsett Reserovir, west of Stocksbridge.

Inspector Simon Owens said: “Without the massive help offered from mountain rescue, who sent 30 people out to help us look for this vulnerable man, this man may have succumbed to the cold weather.

“Thanks to them, the man was found a couple of hours later – cold but uninjured.

“They helped us save a life yesterday evening and I wish to publicly thank them for their support.”

It was the team’s 34th callout of the year.

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