Incident 20/2008

At 13:07 today, whilst some team members were already in attendance at our Ladybridge Hall Base/HQ on our monthly vehicle valet day, the team was pager contacted by Lancashire Constabulary, regarding the initial report that a person was stuck in mud in Anglezarke Quarry.

The quarry actually lies within the primary operational area of our colleagues at Bowland Pennine MRT but in initial liaison with LanCon those Bolton MRT members immediately available at our base responded, whilst LanCon made contact with Bowland Pennine MRT.

As nine of our members were responding in four team Landrovers, BPMRT’s Team Leader Phil O’ Brien contacted our Team Leader Garry Rhodes, to inform him that the latest information was that someone was injured in Anglezarke Quarry, whilst at the same time a call was being dealt with by LanCon of a report of someone stuck in mud (peat presumably) between Winter Hill and Rivington Pike, to which the LanCon Air Support Unit helicopter had been despatched to.

The two Leaders in quick consultation decided to continue to the Anglezarke incident, with a section of the Bowland Pennine MRT also being despatched to this same incident, and possibly then being required to back up the Bolton MRT for the Rivington Moor incident.

Meanwhile our Deputy Leader Geoff Seddon was despatched to the Georges Lane area to await any developments from the ’person stuck in mud’ (peat) incident on Rivington Moor.

The Bolton MRT contingent arrived at the Anglezarke Quarry incident at 13:30 to join up with responding Police Officers and the North West Air Ambulance helicopter Helimed 08, which had just landed previously at the viewpoint car park, overlooking Leicester Mill Quarry.

A male walker had fallen from the top edge of the Anglezarke quarry in the vicinity of the rock climbing area known as Falkland Walls. He had fallen vertically then landed on the boulder slope, densely vegetated and very wet, at the bottom of the quarry.

His fall had been heard by climbers in an another part of the quarry who all went to his assistance, tended to the man, and contacted the Emergency Services.

The man in his forties had suffered multiple major injuries, and in a joint operation with the two Air Ambulance Paramedics, Police Officers and the Bolton MRT members, with grateful continuing assistance from the climbers present, the man was placed into a full length Vaccuum Mattress (a conforming full body length splint), onto a Bell Mountain Rescue Stretcher, and then carried out along the very wet and densely vegetated quarry floor, up the rock scramble quarry entry/exit path, and then passed into the care of a joint Bolton/Bowland Pennine MRT stretcher party for the short carry to the waiting Air Ambulance.

BMRT, BPMRT & NWAA members prepare to load the casualty into Helimed 08

At 14:15 the helicopter departed for the short air journey to Blackburn hospital. During the whole rescue operation two Rangers from United Utilities assisted LanCon Officers with a safety cordon around the air Ambulance and the very necessary road closure.

This incident involved a person with very serious injuries, with all present working to the common aim of quickly getting the injured man into hospital care, and mention must be made of the climbers who so readily helped the rescue effort and helped collect up the rescue kit afterwards.

Regarding the report of a person stuck in mud on Rivington Moor, a search by the Lancashire Constabulary Air Support Unit revealed a lot of walkers about but no one seemingly in trouble, and so this incident was concluded, with our Deputy Leader relocating to the Anglezarke Quarry incident.

Meanwhile Bolton MRT team member Gyles Denn, coincidentally out walking in the Winter Hill area at the time of these incidents, established from passing walkers that someone had indeed become stuck in the peat on Rivington Moor, and a call had been made to the Emergency Services, but then had managed to extricate themselves, it appears however that no one may have told the Emergency Services this is what had happened! (We have only recorded the Anglezarke Quarry incident within our Incident listings).

In a twist to this incident afterwards in the car park above Anglezarke Quarry, we were talking to two of the climbers who had initially gone to the mans aid and then arranged to contact the Emergency Services. It turned out that one of the two has applied to join our team in this February’s intake, and the same morning of the incident had dropped off his booking form for the introductory sessions at our Ladybridge Hall Base/HQ letting on to the members present.

In his own words he said ” I didn’t then expect to be helping you on a real rescue but a few hours later.”