Severe weather keeps mountain rescue teams busy
Northumberland's mountain rescue teams saw a large increase in their call-outs last month compared to the same time last year, in part due to the adverse weather.
The Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team (NNPMRT) and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team (NOTMRT) were called for help seven times over January 2016, representing a 130 per cent increase in incidents compared with January 2015. This can in part be attributed to the severe weather conditions.
The most serious incident saw the emergency shelter built by the Northumberland National Park Authority with assistance from mountain rescue volunteers once again help to save a life. On Saturday, January 16, the teams were called at 5.55am by the Border Search & Rescue Unit after a severely hypothermic walker was found on the Border Ridge in the Cheviots by participants of the Spine Race (which covers the full 268 miles of the Pennine Way, finishing in Kirk Yetholm). The walker had spent a considerable period of time out in the wintry hills following the event.
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The casualty was initially treated and re-warmed by the Spine Race safety team at the Auchope Shelter, just below Auchope Cairn. Given the seriousness of the casualty’s condition, a Coastguard helicopter from Prestwick was scrambled. The casualty was safely evacuated and is expected to make a full recovery.