Rescuers and the Coastguard helicopter at the scene of the incident. Photo: Keswick MRT

Rescuers and the Coastguard helicopter at the scene of the incident. Photo: Keswick MRT

A climber was airlifted to hospital after suffering serious injuries in a fall from a Lake District crag.

The 60-year-old was leading the Gazebo route on the south crag of Castle Rock near Legburthwaite on Thursday when he came off the crag from about 40ft up.

His protection ripped out and he hit the ground before tumbling down the steep slope beneath the rock, coming to a halt when his rope became tight.

His belayer secured his position by tying the rope in to a tree to prevent him sliding further, before calling 999.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was alerted about 5.50pm, with the climber reported to have suffered head injuries.

A team spokesperson said: “In light of the serious nature of the incident an air ambulance was immediately requested.

“A team Land Rover with five team members quickly left the base followed shortly after by two more vehicles and other members going direct. Information was initially scant regarding the situation of the climber until one team member who lives locally reached the scene and was able to confirm location and to some degree his condition.

“A quick medical assessment was done and it was clear that the casualty needed to be moved away from the steep crumbling scree so that a proper assessment could be completed and any treatment given.

“After an awkward manoeuvre involving many hands the man was placed on a vacuum mattress and carefully lifted up the slope. Once on a flatter and more stable surface team medics and the HEMS doctor from the air ambulance were able to further assess and treat the casualty.”

The team had also requested the help of a Coastguard helicopter with winching capabilities because of the awkwardness of the climber’s position and the seriousness of the injuries.

Rescuers tend to the injured climber. Photo: Keswick MRT

Rescuers tend to the injured climber. Photo: Keswick MRT

“Being very close to the base of the crag and a tree it was necessary to stretcher the man to a clearer position so he could be winched into the Coastguard helicopter,” the spokesperson said.

He was then flown down to the waiting air ambulance which flew him to hospital in Preston.

The three-hour rescue involved 25 volunteers from Keswick MRT.

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