Rescue shelters prove a lifesaver in snow
EIGHT ultra marathon runners had a happy escape during this week’s dramatic snow thanks to rescue shelters on the Border Ridge built by Northumberland National Park rangers and volunteers.
They were taking part in an event called the Spine Race, which involves running the length of the Pennine Way in five days, finishing in Yetholm.
Last Friday evening, the Northumberland National Park and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Teams got the call from police that three contestants had been caught in the heavy snow and blizzard conditions and would need assistance.
Luckily they had found shelter at the mountain refuge hut south west of Lamb Hill in the Cheviot Hills known as Yearning Saddle. Because of the extreme winter weather conditions, they were advised by mountain rescue to remain in the refuge over night, to maintain telephone contact with the police control room and to let them know in the morning if they planned to carry on with their event or if they needed assistance off the hill.
The runners had phoned 999 for assistance and due to their position had been put through to Lothian and Borders police who then informed Northumbria that they were all okay and were in contact with the police control room.
Four mountain rescue personnel remained on standby overnight in case the condition of the runners deteriorated and they needed assistance. The plan was to walk up to the refuge and escort the group off the hill and back to Blindburn Farm in Upper Coquetdale.
Lothian and Border Police contacted Northumbria Police on Saturday morning to inform them that there had been another group of ultra marathon runners troubled by the extreme weather - the group of three and another group of five who had been holed up at Auchope Rig mountain refuge hut. The Border Search and Rescue Unit (SAR) had been deployed to meet up with the two parties from the northern side of the Border ridge.
The Lamb Hill group were escorted down to Buchtrig in the Scottish Borders by Border SAR, and the Northumberland teams were asked to meet up with the five runners who had left the safety of Auchope Rig refuge. The last contact had been as they made their way to The Schil and then the phone signal had been lost. The Border SAR unit was liaising with the organisers of the event who were based at Yetholm in the Scottish Borders. The unit made their way to Halterburn in the hope of making contact with the group and that was successfully achieved before midday.
Andrew Miller from Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team said: “Both parties of runners were well prepared. They did the right thing in alerting the police and mountain rescue teams of their position and agreeing to use the refuge huts overnight. This is exactly what these emergency shelters were designed for and they have proven once again to be a lifesaver.”
The shelters are heavily insulated and ensure someone can keep safe overnight in bad weather.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West