Rescuers and the Coastguard helicopter make their way to the scene of the fatal fall. Photo: Keswick MRT

Rescuers and the Coastguard helicopter make their way to the scene of the fatal fall. Photo: Keswick MRT

A man has died after falling more than 200ft on England’s third-highest mountain.

Rescuers were quickly at the scene on Helvellyn yesterday but were unable to save the man, who hit rocks during his fall from the path from the summit to Swirls, near Browncove Crags.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team and colleagues from the Patterdale team were already on the mountain range after being called out on Saturday afternoon to aid a woman reported to be stuck on steep ground in Nethermost Cove.

Rescuers were alerted about 3.35pm to the incident where the man had fallen. A Keswick MRT spokesperson said: “This was in the same place as two recent incidents, on the main footpath from Swirls car park to Helvellyn summit in the area beside Browncove Crags.

“The team immediately requested a winching helicopter in view of the likely seriousness of his injuries, and the team members who were descending from the top of Nethermost were quickly on scene, along with three Patterdale team members. Other team members were sent out from base to assist.

“A passing doctor also managed to get to the casualty quickly but, regrettably, the injuries the man had sustained were so serious that he didn’t survive.”

The Prestwick Coastguard helicopter flew to the site but was unable to winch the man from the mountain because of very strong winds.

The spokesperson said: “The team then stretchered the casualty down to Swirls car park to liaise with the police. Other team members escorted the casualty’s partner down.

“Conditions in the valley give no clue to how difficult conditions will be at 800m.

“The team cannot emphasise enough the serious challenge that the mountain poses in these winter conditions. Snow patches have frozen to bullet-hard ice, making crampons, and an ice-axe to arrest any slip or fall absolutely essential.”

Twenty-two Keswick MRT volunteers and three from the Patterdale team were involved in the incident for more than three hours.

A rescuer above Nethermost Cove during the search for the woman earlier in the afternoon. Photo: Keswick MRT

A rescuer above Nethermost Cove during the search for the woman earlier in the afternoon. Photo: Keswick MRT

In the previous callout, no sign of the woman reported to be in difficulties at Swallow Scarth in Nethermost Cove could be found.

Both rescue teams searched for two hours in conditions described as cold, savagely windy and slippery underfoot, with visibility hampered by snow flurries.

The Keswick MRT spokesperson said: “It was concluded that she must have self-rescued.”

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