Rescue Saturday 7th September 2002

RAF Boulmer Comes Back to help and saves the day

Mountain Rescue teams do not call the RAF unless the injuries are severe or the welfare of the casualty(s) would best be served by a quick evacuation from the scene.  On Saturday the team were particularly grateful as the crew had already come over to Wasdale to spend time with our team, supporting our fundraising day in addition to refresher training of team members in the safety aspects of embarkation/flying/winching/egress.  They had only just returned to the north east when one of our own team members needed urgent evacuation following an accident.

The following series of photos are a summary of the day - more photos of the auction day itself are to be found under the general news section of the website.

RAF Boulmer 'Sea King 131' lands at the Wasdale Head Inn to support the Kern Knotts auction day
Winchman 'Taz' takes team members through the dry run with the helicopter shut down - the winch operator is to his right
Preparing to winch
Helicopter approaches the casualty location, on the north western slopes of Lingmell - a turbulent leeward side of the ridge.  The casualty is already in the vacuum mattress and bell stretcher ready for winching.
The team doctor (and A&E consultant) is winched into the helicopter so that he can accompany the casualty straight into the Hospital.
The casualty and winchman are winched into the helicopter with 'high line' attached to prevent the stretcher spinning during this very long / high winch.
The 'high line' is held on the ground by a team member until it is jettisoned by the winchman before he enters the helicopter.  Remaining team members move away to avoid being struck by the falling rope and heavy carabiner.
The casualty just about to be pulled on board the helicopter as the crew prepare to fly the short 10 minute journey to West Cumberland Hospital.