Busy Time for Rescue team - Whitehaven News, Thursday 30 March 2000

WASDALE Mountain Rescue Team was called out again last weekend, for it's seventh weekend rescue in five weeks.  The team has been called out each weekend in the last five weeks, apart from the week of their training with RAF Leeming.  This brings the total number to 14 call-outs already this year.  Team Leader Julian Carradice said that although this was not unusually high, there had been an increase in people calling from mobile telephones.

Mr. Carradice said: "Mobile telephones are clearly a good thing if people have had an accident because we can get to casualties much sooner.  What is worrying,. however, is that there seems to be a trend of people using their phones too readily.

"We are always prepared to go out and help people in trouble but it is important for people not to rely on mobile telephones as the coverage is not always there".

Last Saturday, the full team was called to three people who were stuck by a 200 foot vertical drop on crags near Broad Stand, Scafell, at about 4.40 p.m.  14 members attended the rescue after attempts to call back the climbers failed. 

The three people (two men and one woman), all in their 20s, were found on a small ledge near to Mickledore chimney.  Rope and harnesses were used to 'swing' the group to easier ground after members of the team had been lowered nearer to them. They were then further lowered down a 50-foot drop so they could be walked off the hill by torchlight.  The team returned to base at 10.00 p.m. 

By Sunday lunchtime, nine of the team were back out after a call from a 21-year-old from Birmingham, who was stuck on the Screes.  Mr. Carradice said: "After going along the lakeside path, he had tried to climb up a gulley, directly towards the top of the Screes.  He had got in to a position where he dare not go up or down, so he phoned for assistance.  He was given a safety helmet and put in a harness and assisted to walk down off the hill.  We were all back at base by 3.00 p.m.

Updated 13 April 2000 - Richard Warren, Team Secretary