Rescue of Two Ladies lost on the Scafell Masiff

Monday 10 February 1630 hrs. until early afternoon Tuesday 12th February


Team Leader Julian Carradice (foreground) and Treasurer, Richard Longman on the control desk at Millforge Vase, Gosforth. The start of a long night.
The incident board, marked up with the casualty details including names, clothing worn and equipment, the time when the last contact was heard (999 call to ambulance control at 1630 hrs. 
Search routes being allocated to ensure the most probable locations are covered.  It is important to ensure that search groups are well balanced with numbers and experience.  These were the routes targeted for the night search.  The expectation was that the two ladies would be found somewhere on the corridor route.
12 hours later, 0700 hrs, new search routes are drawn up ready for the second stage search - noting that there are 6 other rescue teams all doing the same thing in their own valleys and tops.  Note that the names on the board have already been out from 1900hrs the previous night with little or no sleep and certainly no descent food (having missed their evening meal the night before). Mars bars and Kit Kats are no substitute for a hot meal.
0830 hrs. Mobile One at the base of Great Gable to improve radio communication up into the Greta Ghyll and Piers Ghyll areas.  Note that the cloud cover is now clearing from the tops.
0930 hrs. RAF Sea King, Rescue 122 from RAF Valley, Anglesey arrives to start an aerial search for the missing ladies. 
The crew of Rescue 122 scour the gulleys on Glaramara following a call from Leeming MRT on the ground having heard a lady shouting.  A very detailed search from the air came up with nothing.  The shouts were later established as those of a search dog handler working her dog in that area looking for the missing persons.


RAF Rescue 131 from Boulmer leaving the Wasdale Head Hotel to search the Eskdale valley with two Keswick and one Wasdale MRT extra pairs of eyes and local knowledge.  The missing ladies were spotted from the air 15 minutes later


Checking the ground from 150 feet is work that requires total  concentration from the heli crew.  At any stage the pilot has to be able to escape from uplifts, downdrafts and rock faces.

Looking a little tired but still smiling after being awake for 31 hours, the control room crew at Millforge Gosforth. End of a successful and rewarding day


Page created 13/2/03 by   Wasdalemrt