The Brecon MRT stretcher team makes its way through the Old Crofftau kitchen. Photo: Brecon MRT

The Brecon MRT stretcher team makes its way through the Old Crofftau kitchen. Photo: Brecon MRT

A couple decorating the Christmas tree at their remote Brecon Beacons home found their evening interrupted by a team of mountain rescuers.

Sue and Kim Brook welcomed a stretcher party from Brecon Mountain Rescue Team who used the kitchen of their premises at Old Crofftau to reach two walkers in trouble on the flanks of Pen y Fan on Wednesday.

The short-cut through the house, north-east of south Wales’s highest mountain, was the easiest way to reach the pair of hypothermic walkers in the Cwm Sere.

A team spokesperson said: “The hypothermic casualties the team attended last night were in a very difficult to reach area in Cwm Sere.

“Access to this beautiful valley can be tricky in conditions such as last night. A stretcher party had been dispatched on foot and the easiest way in proved to be through a charming premises named Old Crofftau, the residents of which have a stunning holiday let.

“Sue and Kim Brook do a lot to support Brecon Mountain Rescue Team but last night they went above and beyond insisting that the easier assess across their land was in fact through their house! So they allowed, and enthusiastically welcomed, a very muddy stretcher party to disturb their Christmas tree decorating and traipse through their home.

“We are always so grateful for the help and knowledge of local landowners – last night’s support was particularly appreciated.”

The rescue team was alerted and police requested the help of the St Athan Coastguard helicopter shortly before 9.30pm. The two walkers had been forced to abort their intended route and had to use a longer and less familiar escape route instead. The pair had become very cold and exhausted on their descent and were forced to call for assistance.

Brecon MRT used the Sarloc smartphone system to pinpoint the walkers’ location and team members made their way to the site.

The walkers were found on the slopes of Pen y Fan. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The walkers were found on the slopes of Pen y Fan. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesperson said: “The casualties, despite being well prepared with warm clothing and an emergency shelter, were exhausted and showing signs of hypothermia when the mountain rescue team reached them.

“A small break in the low cloud base allowed the HM Coastguard all-weather helicopter to quickly race to the scene and winch the casualties on board.”

The walkers were airlifted to Cardiff Hospital, where Penarth Coastguard Rescue Team helped by manning the helicopter landing site.

The Brecon MRT spokesperson said: “We wish both casualties a speedy recovery. As always, a team effort, even from the local residents, to get this couple to safety.”

The Coastguard released footage of the rescue operation.

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