Incident 56/2007

At 12:56 today the team, whilst at our Ladybridge base carrying out a vehicle valet day and equipment check day, was contacted directly by NWAS (GMA) control to attend a report of 3 children in a river on the outskirts of Bolton.

Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue service were already attending this incident and had contacted the ambulance service, who in turn contacted us.

All 4 of our Mountain Rescue Landrovers were able to make an immediate response, with 9 team members on board.

Our 4 vehicles all arrived on scene together at 13:06, at Waters Meeting alongside Eagley Brook (a wide river flowing in a steep sided small valley). Already on scene was a fire appliance from Bolton Central fire station, whose crew were in the final stages of effecting a rescue of two children from the waterside, with one other youth out of the water.

It appears that the youngest of the three youths involved, aged 8, had fallen into to the water, with the two others aged 11 and 13 going into the water to help the younger one.

The fire crew on scene passed all three completely wet through children into our hands, where we then took them into our vehicles and wrapped them in casualty bags and blankets. All three children were suffering from the onset of Hypothermia and the shock of what had happened to them (and no doubt the huge rescue effort that was now swinging into action).


The scene of vehicles at the RVP on Waters Meeting Road. The river lies just beyond the crash barrier and down a small steep, muddy banking


TL Garry Rhodes liaising with the GMFRS crews & police on scene

Upon arrival of a NWAS (GMA) ambulance, all three children were transferred into the amublance at 13:13, where their warm-up continued with the ambulance leaving shortly afterwards, taking all three children to Royal Bolton Hospital.

In total the following resources attended this incident with some arriving after the very quick initial rescue. Bolton MRT, 4 team vehicles, 11 members, and our canoe/kayak search unit (towed by our DTLs vehicle); NWAS (GMA) Emergency Ambulance; Greater Manchester Police (at least 2 divisional vans); and the following GMFRS resources – single pump appliances from Eccles, Bolton North, and Bolton Central fire stations, the Water Rescue in-shore boat and its towing appliance from Eccles fire station, a group commander and station commander, both from Bury, (a further station commander was stood down responding).

Throughout this incident our Team Leader was in direct contact with NWAS (GMA) PEC feeding back information as to the progress of this successful and very rapid rescue.

This was an excellent example of a multi-agency approach to a water related incident, which fortunately had a very successful outcome.