Rescuers at the scene on Red Screes. Photo: Patterdale MRT

Rescuers at the scene on Red Screes. Photo: Patterdale MRT

A volunteer mountain rescuer is in a serious condition in hospital after he fell almost 500ft during a callout.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team said their colleague suffered life-changing injuries during the ‘avoidable’ incident.

The rescuer was airlifted by a Coastguard helicopter from Red Screes above Kirkstone Pass in the early hours of Saturday.

The team had been called out to a walker camping on the mountain who had chest pains.

A spokesperson for the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, the umbrella body for team in Cumbria, said the experienced Patterdale team member fell about 150m on steep ground while making his way to the incident site.

“No one sets out on the fells with the intention of having an accident, and our thoughts are also with the original caller who became ill whilst camping on the fells,” the spokesperson said.

“However, the simple truth is that the more people who are out walking in the Lakeland fells, the higher the chances that our mountain rescue teams will be called out.

“Rescues are much more challenging during the coronavirus pandemic. Our team members need to operate in PPE, and many of our volunteers also have full-time jobs as key workers in the NHS and other essential services.

“We are very grateful to the very many people who have chosen to stay local for exercise during this time, and would encourage everyone to follow the government guidance currently in place.

“This is clearly a very difficult time for the family of the injured team member, and for members of Patterdale Mountain Rescue team, and we are asking that their privacy is respected.”

A Coastguard helicopter airlifted the injured rescuer from the mountainside. Photo: Patterdale MRT

A Coastguard helicopter airlifted the injured rescuer from the mountainside. Photo: Patterdale MRT

Penrith and Langdale Ambleside teams were called in to support Patterdale MRT during the incident and the original patient was stretchered from the hill by the teams involved and taken to hospital by the North West Ambulance Service.

Mike Blakey, operational lead for the 12 rescue teams of the Lake District and a Patterdale team member said: “I cannot stress enough the message to stay at home during lockdown.

“This rescue, and the subsequent life-changing injuries incurred by our team member, were avoidable.

“Rescue team members are volunteers who train extensively to rescue others in the most atrocious weathers and in inhospitable places. However, the risks are always there and the impact of an incident like this is far reaching across the rescue and emergency services family.

“On behalf of the casualty’s family I would like to formally thank everyone involved in the rescue of our team member, including the medics and helicopter crew, and the amazing support he has received so far since being admitted to hospital.

“Of course, our priority is now to support him and his family.”

  • A GoFundMe page has been set up with a target of raising £10,000 for the injured mountain rescuer.

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