Rescuers and the Coastguard helicopter at the scene. Photo: Aberdyfi SRT

Rescuers and the Coastguard helicopter at the scene. Photo: Aberdyfi SRT

A walker was rescued from a Snowdonia mountain after falling ill.

The 59-year-old was with a group of seven on Cadair Idris when he began having seizures.

Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team was alerted about 2.30pm on Monday after the walker became unwell a few hundred metres short of the summit on Penygadair.

A team spokesperson said: “Given the seriousness of his condition, assistance was requested from the Coastguard helicopter R936, but it quickly became clear that the cloudbase was too low for the helicopter to reach the casualty site.

“The only option was for mountain rescue volunteers to make their way on foot to the casualty, and to carry him down to a position where the helicopter could then evacuate him.”

The Caernarfon Coastguard helicopter landed in Dolgellau and picked up a team of rescuers to fly them as close as possible to the casualty site. A further two airlifts of team members placed rescuers and equipment on the mountain.

The spokesperson said: “Having reached the ill man, rescuers made further assessments which confirmed the seriousness of the situation. As the man’s companions, cold and wet, were escorted down from the mountain by team volunteers, other were preparing the casualty for a stretcher-carry down to a suitable landing site.

“As the transport process was about to begin, it became clear that there were occasional breaks in the cloud cover. This information was passed to R936 who were standing-by at Minffordd, and the crew decided to get airborne to see what opportunities might be available.

“The helicopter inched its way up through the mist and was able to reach the casualty site and land. The man was quickly loaded aboard before the gaps in the cloud closed again and R936 made a quick exit, getting down safely below the cloudbase before taking the casualty to Ysbyty Gwynedd for further assessment and treatment.

“Everyone was safely down off the hill by 9pm.”

Team member Graham O’Hanlon, who was present at the casualty site, said: “We were facing a long, slow and difficult stretcher-carry with a seriously ill casualty, so were very happy to see R936 emerge from the mist.

“We are extremely grateful to the crew of Coastguard R936 who gave us fantastic support throughout this operation and pulled off what looked like quite a remarkable piece of flying to reach our position.”

The 6½-hour rescue involved 23 Aberdyfi team volunteers.

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