The rescue scene at Silvas Capitalis. Photo: NNPMRT

The rescue scene at Silvas Capitalis. Photo: NNPMRT

Rescuers in Northumberland were called out twice in four days to aid injured mountain bikers.

Volunteers from Northumberland National Park and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Teams responded to a call to help a cyclist who had fallen and suffered an injury at Kielder reservoir on Tuesday.

The woman sustained a potentially serious injury while out with her family on the Lakeside Way.

The North East Ambulance Service requested the support of local mountain rescue teams. The two teams immediately responded with a full team callout and three mountain rescue vehicles were sent to rendezvous at Kielder dam.

A NNPMRT spokesperson said: “Initially the exact location of the incident was not known.”

On arrival a member of staff from Forestry England confirmed the location of the incident: Silvas Capitalis, a large wooden sculpture on the north shore of the reservoir, a site accessible to within 50m in a 4×4 vehicle.

The spokesperson said: “A NEAS hazardous area response team paramedic was taken to the incident in a Forestry England pickup truck.

“Following an initial assessment it was agreed that the female cyclist could be assisted to the mountain rescue vehicle and transported through the forest to the dam. The remaining travelling team members were stood down en route.

“Once at the dam, the casualty was handed over to a crewed ambulance for onward transport to hospital. Throughout the incident, Covid 19 protocols were adhered to and PPE worn by team members.

“On returning to base, the vehicle was cleaned outside and decontaminated on the inside in line with our Covid-19 protocols.”

The incident lasted four hours and involved five team members with another 12 members stood down while travelling to the rendezvous point.

Rescuers tend to the mountain biker at Usway Burn. Photo: NNPMRT

Rescuers tend to the mountain biker at Usway Burn. Photo: NNPMRT

On Saturday, the two teams were called out to a remote part of the Northumberland national park, where a mountain biker had suffered potentially serious injuries while riding in the Usway Burn area.

The NNPMRT spokesperson said: “The mountain biker had fallen down a rocky slope, but luckily his companions were able to quickly call 999 and contact the Northumbria Police, who in turn contacted mountain rescue.

“While the members from the mountain rescue teams were being deployed, local team members travelled to the scene. A small hasty team soon arrived and one of the team medics assessed and treated the casualty’s injuries. Not long after, other team members arrived in the area and had to then hike to the incident, carrying the team stretcher and additional equipment.

“Further time was spent making sure that everyone was in correct PPE which included donning facemasks and outer clothing, before the casualty was placed in a vacuum mattress and moved onto the stretcher.”

Rescuers then carried and pulled the casualty back down the valley to an access track where an ambulance was waiting. “Given the busy holiday period and the remote location, the incident only lasted 4 hours and 45 minutes,” the spokesperson said.

Northumberland National Park team leader Iain Nixon said: “What really helped in this incident was the ability to locate the casualty quickly and we’re grateful to the mountain biker’s friends for being able to tell us where they were.

“Whilst we’ve not seen the huge surge in incidents that others mountain rescue teams have had, we are acutely aware that with more people taking their holidays in the UK, that it’s only a matter of time until we see the number of callouts creeping up.

“With that in mind, we would ask the public to always plan their adventures carefully; to stay within their limits, check the weather forecast, learn how to map read and to always have enough charge on your mobile phone for that all important 999 call, if you need it.”

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