Incident 106/2010

At 15.36hrs this wintry afternoon, the team was paged by NWAS (Greater Manchester Area) for an incident at High Rid Reservoir, Heaton, Bolton.

As our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE was about to answer this call, he was in turn contacted directly by NWAS (GMA) Belle Vue Control, with more details on the incident, which involved a snow sledger.

Four team vehicles with thirteen team members on board, were already out in the team area and so were able to make an immediate response, with three team vehicles being co-incidentally very near to the incident location.



An NWAS (GMA) Rapid Response Vehicle (Solo crewed) had already arrived at the incident location, when at 15.44hrs our first team vehicle, BM4 with team members arrived at the incident location, closely followed by our BM3 vehicle at 15.45hrs.

The 31 year old male sledger involved had apparently descended the steep eastern embankment of High Rid Reservoir with such speed that he managed to clear (almost) the five feet wide, four feet deep, vertically stone sided drainage channel at the base of the embankment, landing on the other side of the channel, but ’clipping’ the stone top of the channel with his hip.



The casualty was in some pain, but also felt faint, and it was decided to stretcher evacuate him to the NWAS (GMA) Emergency Ambulance which had arrived. With temperatures around minus 4 he was also beginning to suffer from the cold.

The evacuation commenced at 16.05hrs, firstly getting the casualty on our stretcher over the drainage channel, (under control this time!) and a combination of sledging our mountain rescue stretcher over the snow covered ground and then carrying it over a gate, saw the casualty quickly into the warmth of the NWAS Emergency Ambulance.

At around 16.30hrs the NWAS Emergency Ambulance departed for Royal Bolton Hospital, initially under escort from our team vehicles in case the Ambulance had any difficulty driving over the snow packed and very icy reservoir access track.

All that remained was for us to travel to Royal Bolton Hospital to retrieve the equipment we had used on this incident.

The following resources were deployed to this incident;

  • NWAS (Greater Manchester Area) Rapid Response Vehicle, solo crewed, and an NWAS (Greater Manchester Area) Emergency Ambulance, two crew.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, four team Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles, and sixteen team members.

The friends of the injured sledger did a great job of making him comfortable and keeping him as warm as they could upto our arrival.