Runner Saved in Peak Drama - Yorkshire County Evening Press

 - Saturday, June 24th 2000

A York man was airlifted to hospital in a dramatic rescue operation in the Lake District. 

Marathon runner Dave Scoreby, 43, collapsed in atrocious weather conditions while on a midsummer charity expedition to the Lakeland fells.  Fellow members of the Everest Challenge 2000 team noticed he was beginning to shiver and stagger as gale- force winds and rain hit the second day of a three-day trek in Cumbria. 

Recognising he had hypothermia, they used a mobile phone to call out the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team to help the father-of-three, of Usher Park Road, Haxby. 

As he lost consciousness his friends put Mr. Scoreby into a warming "space blanket" and huddled around him to pass their body heat.  They were able to give precise map references to help rescuers as a Sea King helicopter was scrambled from RAF Valley in Anglesey to airlift Mr. Scoreby to hospital in Whitehaven. 

The helicopter landed as near as possible to where the stricken walker lay.  Rescuers then gave him oxygen, and his colleagues packed into a tent around him to help speed the warming process, but it was three hours before it was judged safe to move him from the mountains. 

About 20 members of the Fell Rescue Unit [actually Mountain Rescue Team] were involved in the drama yesterday at Piers Gill, near Scafell Pike.  Julian Carradice, leader of the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team, said today: "Heavy rain and strong winds made conditions extremely unpleasant in the area, but we managed to get to Mr. Scoreby early enough and we were pleased with the result." 

Mr. Scoreby, who works at Nestlé Rowntree, was later released from hospital and was today on his way back to York after contacting his family to let them know he was safe and well.  Wayne Brannan, co-organiser of the expedition to raise money for York Diabetic Trust, said today: “ The rescue team were absolutely brilliant and we can’t thank them enough.”  The rest of the team was today continuing the Lakeland challenge in better weather conditions.

Peaks walker praises rescuers who saved his life 

- Yorkshire Evening PressMonday 26th June, 2000      

The marathon walker airlifted from a remote peak suffering from severe hypothermia today said he owed his life to his companions.  Speaking from his York home where he is still recovering from his ordeal, Dave Scoreby praised the professionalism and quick-thinking of the other members of the Everest Challenge 2000 team which averted almost certain disaster.   

     “It was a really close call but they saved my life,” he said.  “They were just brilliant – they knew exactly what to do, and the teamwork involved to make sure I didn’t just curl up and die was immense.”  Mr. Scoreby, 43, of Usher Park Road, Haxby, was on the second day of a charity expedition in Cumbria when he began to succumb to the potentially fatal effects of hypothermia.  Unaware of what was happening to him in the driving rain and bitterly cold wind, his only impulse was to “lay down and go to sleep” – a common response to the condition. 

Realising the extreme danger of the situation, his companions set to work restoring his body temperature and called in the Fell Rescue Unit.  “It could have been absolutely horrendous if we hadn’t had the right knowledge and equipment,” said Mr. Scoreby, who works at Nestlé Rowntree.  “I had no idea what was going on.  One minute I was on the mountain and ready to call it a day and the next thing I remember I was in a hospital bed being crushed by the weight of blankets.” 

The father-of-three, who was airlifted to hospital in Whitehaven by helicopter, said he lost about four or five hours that day.   “I could have got the bus back for all I knew,” he said.  A veteran of 29 marathons, Mr. Scoreby said that meticulous preparation and months of training had been the difference between life and death.  But he said the weather was infinitely worse than anyone had foreseen.  “Doing a challenge like this at the end of June, you wouldn’t expect conditions like these – it was the coldest weather I have experienced for many winters,” he said.  Mr. Scoreby said he had spent the weekend drinking cups of tea in front of the fire at home and would be returning to work later in the week.

see incident report No.30........


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