name is Martin from Kirkham in Lancashire.
I was the casualty listed under callout
00/17 on the 10th April 2000.
At the time of the rescue I promised the team members to send in my
account of the event and this is the result. I hope you can use it on your
had planned a week’s holiday staying in Newby Bridge with my wife Betty
and two sons Adam (19) and Graham (17). It was going to be a week of
exercise and we planned to walk or bike everyday.
Monday 10/4 it was such a good forecast that we decided that we would climb
Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head. Adam had climbed it before as part of a
Three Peaks challenge but the rest of use had not been up there before.
set off from Wasdale Head around 11am and climbed up towards Lingmell, we
stopped for a bite to eat around 1pm on the plateau below Mickledore. The
weather was fine and there were just a couple of patches of snow there to
cool our cans of drink in. The views down Wasdale were tremendous and we pushed on up
the path towards Mickledore.
we reached the steep part of the path the surface underfoot became quite
loose and we often had to scramble up on all fours.
Betty and Graham were leading with myself and Adam following about
30-40 feet behind.
we saw a boulder about the size of a portable TV rolling down the
slope. How it had become dislodged we will never know. Betty shouted a
warning to look out and I watched as the boulder picked up speed tumbling end over
end. It was coming down at a rate of knots but it looked as if it would pass
by us with a good 10-20 ft to spare. As the path was loose I could not move
very quickly and was on my knees watching it come down.
the last second it took a bad bounce and headed straight towards me. I shied
away and it hit me on the left hip area with quite a thud.
I was knocked a few feet down the path and ended up under Adam’s
thought that it had just glanced off me and although shaken up thought that
I had been lucky. It felt as if I had just been given a ‘deadleg’ but I
could wiggle my left leg and foot ok.
and Graham scrambled down the path back to us and asked if I was ok. We all
sat there for 5 minutes or so as I got by breath back. We decided that we
would continue upwards rather than go down and I started to attempt to stand
up. At this point Adam spotted some blood on the stones below me and lifted
up my fleece and T shirt. Just
above my hip bone on my left side there was a puncture wound about the size
of a 50p piece which was bleeding profusely.
that point both Adam and Betty indicated that I would not be going anywhere
in a hurry!
we had bought Adam a Mountain Leaders First Aid Kit as a Christmas present
as he does a lot of climbing etc. He had it with him and so we were able to
get a pressure dressing on the wound immediately.
We had 3 mobile phones with us but at the point of the incident in
the shelter of the top crags we could not get a signal.
and Graham decided to go down until they could get a signal and call out the
Mountain Rescue. They set off and I laid there fortunately not in any pain
at all with Adam keeping an eye on me.
path where I was lying was very slippery and I decided that I would slither
very gently about 15 feet down the slope to where there was a large rock to
prop my self against.
managed to ease myself down and felt a lot more comfortable pressed against
the large rock although I could not see what was going on.
accident had happened around 2.30 pm and they managed to call the mountain
rescue just before 3pm.
this stage it was a case of just lying and waiting. I managed to put some
extra clothing on and felt reasonably comfortable. It was only the last 20
minutes before the first team member arrived that I started to feel cold and
start shivering. The first team member reached me around 4.30pm if I
remember correctly and I was mighty glad to see him.
rest of the team arrived within 15 minutes and they managed to get me into
one of the thermal bags and put
a bivvie cover over the top of us. It was quite cosy with about 5 of us
under a small tent and I soon warmed up. Dr West checked my vital signs and
was surprised to find me in such a reasonable state of health.
the team were ready to move me onto the stretcher and they removed the tent
cover we realised that the group of us had actually slid a good 10 ft down
the slope and the rock I had been pressed against was back up the hill!
on the stretcher they used the vacuum mattress to stop me from moving about
and I felt very secure and safe. By
this time the team had setup belays from higher up the slope and proceeded
to lower me gently down the steep part of the path.
we reached the plateau where we had had our lunch we joined up with Betty
and Adam, Graham already had gone down to the car park with other members of
seemed to descend at quite a speed, but I must congratulate all the carriers
on a first rate ride!
reaching the ambulance at the car park at around 7pm it started to rain and
I said my goodbyes to the team. Their professionalism, skill and humour kept
us all going on that eventful afternoon and I cannot thank them enough for
I reached the West Cumberland Hospital and was admitted into Casualty they
found that I had not suffered any broken bones but the puncture wound was
quite serious and they decided to operate that night.
only muscle was damaged and no internal organs had been affected. They left
me with a scar a bit larger than the one I started with but after 6 days in
hospital and 7 weeks off work I am nearly fully recovered.
again many heartfelt thanks to all the team members involved from both
myself, Betty, Adam and Graham.
wishes for the future
|Picture of Martin in the Bell Stretcher just about to
be transferred into the waiting ambulance at Brackenclose, Wasdale
double click to view