Three Peaker Search where Wasdale MRT found Gemma

Friday 27th June 2008

(updated 16/08/08)

2008:42 (a) 27/06/08 (10.30 a.m.) - Friday  

The team had been notified a week or so ago that a Rotweiler had gone missing on the Scafell Range and could we look out for her (18 months Old and called Gemma). [see original police report here 14 June 2008]


When the search party came across the missing Three Peakers (see incident 2008:42) they noticed a third dog sitting on the fell about 150 foot away - they thought it belonged to the missing party - the lost party had seen the dog as they climbed back up from Eskdale and when they heard the search party they thought it was a search dog.  It soon was established that it was the missing Gemma.   She had been lost on the fells 2 weeks ago and her owners had reluctantly returned to Leicester - the information was relayed back to the owners who were over the moon and immediately jumped into their car and headed up to the lakes from Leicester.  This was case of a K9 call having a happy ending.  see photos of the day  here including the 50,  Three Peaker,  Mini buses on the green at 7.30 a.m. that morning and the badly eroded paths 


[This incident is No. 42  out of 55  x '999's in 2008 compared to 40  out of 49 x'999's at the same time last year i.e.  a 10 % increase on last year]

 [NY21512 06127]

2008:42 27/06/08 (4.11 a.m.) - Friday  

Team paged by the Police to attend to a '999' call for 3 long overdue, Three Peakers and 2 dogs.  The 2 males and 1 female (from the Liverpool area) had left Brackenclose at 8.00 p.m. the previous evening and were due back down at 12.30 a.m.  - Their waiting driver raised the alarm from the pay phone at Wasdale Head Hotel.  After discussion on the phone with the acting team leader, a decision was made to leave it until 6.00 a.m. to see if they turned up.  At 6.13 a.m. a limited callout was actioned followed by a full callout at 7.05 a.m. - 10 Wasdale team members searched the Wasdale side and in addition 6 members of the Duddon & Furness team were called out to search the Eskdale side of Scafell pike a provide radio relay cover.  Later in the morning a Royal Navy Sea King Helicopter was tasked to assist ( they offered to help as they were planning a training exercise that day).

The missing group were located between Cam Spout and Mickledore at 10.30 a.m. - cloud was down to 1,600 feet.  They had made a navigational error and descended into Eskdale via Cam Spout rather than turning right at the Stretcher Box on Mickledore and descending into Wasdale (this is a very common error).  After spending much time trying to find a way out they eventually decided to head back up to the summit and it was here they met one of the Wasdale search parties descending into Eskdale.  They were walked off the mountain back to Brackenclose.  Incident closed at 1.00 p.m. - but see write up for incident 2008:42 (a) which also includes photos of the day

 [NY21512 06127]


The previous weekend saw 8 incidents over the longest day and an invasion of mini buses into the valley with total gridlock at 4.00 a.m.


This morning saw a similar situation with 50 mini buses parked up at the Wasdale Head Green.  Surprisingly we met very few walkers searching the Styhead / Piers Gill areas.

This is the main Brown Tongue path where, due to the volume of foot traffic going up and down, there is a need for a dual carriageway - this shows the type of erosion that is happening during just one night of Three Peaker onslaught.

The search parties wait for the last group to come down with the three missing walkers and their two dogs.


A happy ending for our missing Three Peakers as they arrive back at Brackenclose


Gemma the Rotweiler who looked remarkable well after her two week enforced holiday in the Lake District





Page created 27 June 2008