Rescuers stretcher one of the injured walkers to the Coastguard helicopter. Photo: Woodhead MRT

Rescuers stretcher one of the injured walkers to the Coastguard helicopter. Photo: Woodhead MRT

Rescuers have praised a group of young people who ‘did all the right things’ after two of them were injured on a Peak District moorland.

A major operation lasting eight hours was launched to bring the injured walkers to safety from the slopes of Black Hill in wintry conditions on Saturday evening.

Four of the group, who were on a practice Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition, walked from the fell to raise the alarm, while three remaining party members put up emergency shelters on the hill.

Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team was alerted about 7.10pm and was joined by colleagues from the Holme Valley team in the mission to find and treat the injured walkers.

A Woodhead team member said: “Two of the members had taken a nasty tumble and sustained leg injuries rendering them unable to carry on.

“Four of their party carried on down to Crowden to where they were due to camp that night to raise the alarm and give a grid reference of their friends’ whereabouts, which was just off the Pennine Way near Sliddens Moss leaving a third person with the two casualties to help put up the party’s emergency shelters.

“Teams set off on foot from Holme Moss and after a 4.5km walk in, arrived at the casualty site.

“The casualties were assessed by team medics, warmed up, given pain relief, splinted and packaged up ready for extrication.”

Because of the length of the stretcher carry needed to get the injured youngsters to safety, and the difficulty of the terrain, rescuers requested the help of the Coastguard helicopter.

Teams faced a long stretcher carry across difficult terrain. Photo: Woodhead MRT

Teams faced a long stretcher carry across difficult terrain. Photo: Woodhead MRT

The spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, at that point, due to poor visibility the helicopter couldn’t reach us and the carry off began.

“The terrain was very hard going, with snow and ice on the ground, two stream crossings and a wind chill touching -10C, it was a very challenging task for all involved, pushing ourselves to the absolute maximum.

“With the magnitude of what lay ahead, a request was put in for assistance from Oldham Mountain Rescue Team and Glossop Mountain Rescue Team who were soon on hand to help with the carry off.

“Thankfully after refuelling at Manchester Airport, the Maritime Coastguard Agency made an incredible attempt to reach us, and finally touched down at our location after around three hours of trying to get to us, which by now was at the summit of Black Hill, some 2.2km from the casualty site.”

The two injured walkers were airlifted to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield for further treatment.

The Woodhead MRT spokesperson said: “Needless to say, if it wasn’t for the actions of the other four members to make their way down, raise the alarm and give a grid reference, the clever thinking of the three remaining to make themselves as warm and comfortable as they possibly could, it might have been a very different outcome.

“Well done to all the youngsters involved for doing everything right.

“We returned to our rendezvous point at 3am, some eight hours after the initial callout, feeling very tired indeed, but once again, a fantastic example of mountain rescue teams and the Search And Rescue Dog Association England working together to get the job done.

“A big well done to all involved and our best wishes with a speedy recovery to the two casualties. We hope you’re back out in the hills soon.”

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