Team members stretcher the literary casualty from the fell. Photo: Keswick MRT

Team members stretcher the literary casualty from the fell. Photo: Keswick MRT

An injured walker kept up rescuers’ spirits by regaling them with poetry and literary recitals as he was stretchered from a Lakeland fell.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was called out shortly before 1pm on Christmas Eve to help the 76-year-old man who slipped and injured his leg.

The walker was descending the path from Watendlath to Rosthwaite with a group when he fell heavily, resulting in considerable pain. Unable to continue, his group called for help.

A Keswick MRT spokesperson said: “A Land Rover full of team members left base, shortly thereafter followed by more team members in a Sprinter and made their way to Hazel Bank, Rosthwaite.

“They then continued on foot to find the man and some of his walking party not too far up the path. The man was given analgesia before loading him onto a stretcher for the carry down.

“The team would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the jovial casualty who, in between occasional pained cries as the stretcher was jolted, kept the team amused with non-stop poetry recitals and literary quotations with all the vigour of Brian Blessed.

“Everyone had smiles on their faces as evidenced in the photos. We wish him a very speedy recovery.”

The rescue involved 14 team volunteers and lasted almost two hours. It was one of three incidents Keswick MRT dealt with on 24 December.

Less than two hours after the first callout, the team’s help was requested when three generations of the same family got stuck on steep ground while attempting to return to their car at the end of a walk.

The spokesperson said: “A 60-year-old, her 27-year-old daughter and the eight-year-old grandson had walked from Surprise View above Ashness Bridge down to the lakeshore. On their return they lost the path in the woods but could see on their mobile phone map that the car was almost straight above them.

“They attempted to climb up direct but found the ground increasingly steep and impossible to continue. The descent was now an unattractive proposition so they called 999 and asked for mountain rescue help. Some of the team members from the first callout went straight back out again and climbed up from near to Lodore Falls to locate the family under the crags below Surprise View.

“One team member took the young lad straight down while the rest of the team helped the two ladies securing them on a short rope on the steep, bouldery and slippery ground. Unlike the previous callout there was no poetry this time but lots of light-hearted banter. We all made it down just before dark.”

The 1¾-hour rescue involved 11 team members.

While rescuers were driving to the aid of the family, they were alerted to another group needing help. A family had strayed on to steep ground near King’s How on Grange Fell.

The spokesperson said: “Using Phone Find the precise location of the two adults and two children was pinpointed.

“The family had already very wisely stated that they would not move from that location to make finding them easier. More team members were requested to make up a small search team and they drove once more up the Borrowdale Valley.

“The team approached from the Bowder Stone car park and made their way up in fading daylight to find the family. The night time descent back to the Bowder Stone presented no problems.”

Eleven Keswick MRT volunteers were involved in the incident, which lasted almost 2¾ hours.

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