Incident 99/2012

Late this morning at 54 year old solo walker from the Westhoughton, Bolton area, whilst out walking in the lower part of the Terraced Gardens at Rivington slipped sustaining a serious ankle injury.

Passers by including a runner alerted both the Ambulance service and the staff at the nearby Great House Barn information centre.

NWAS (Lancashire) Emergency Operations Centre Air Desk alerted and despatched the North West Air Ambulance Helimed 72 from its City Airport Manchester (Barton) airbase.

The casualty site was initially thought, based on reports, to be on the track system in the vicinity of Rivington Hall Barn (popularly known as the “top” barn).

The local United Utilities Ranger, alerted by staff at the Great House Barn information centre, established that Helimed 72 had landed in fields near to the South Lodge entrance of the Terraced Gardens, and opened up local access gates, driving his Land Rover near to where the helicopter had landed to liaise with the helicopter crew.

It was quickly realised that the services of Mountain Rescue would be required and at 11:57 we were paged to assist.

In the meantime, a nearby member of Rossendale & Pendle MRT, Jake Clark, having seen Helimed 72 land close by, offered his services. The first two Bolton MRT team members to arrive at the initial RVP of Rivington Hall Barn, at 12:12, Gill Leigh and Mark Scott quickly established the casualty site location to be the steep wooded hillside, just above the South Lodge entrance to the Terraced Gardens, and they guided in our responding team vehicles & members.

The casualty had sustained a serious fracture dislocation of his left ankle, and with the Helimed crew and our MR casualty carer Mark Scott jointly working together, the casualty was given painkilling drugs.


With his injury splinted, the injured man was then carried out of the Terraced Gardens on a specialist Mountain Rescue stretcher to the Air Ambulance for onward transfer to Hospital.

At 12:58, Helimed 72 lifted off with the casualty en-route to Royal Blackburn hospital.

The following resources were involved in this incident:

  • NWAS (Lancashire) Emergency Operations Centre, Air Desk
  • North West Air Ambulance Helimed 72, 3 crew on board, polit, paramedic, doctor
  • Bolton MRT, 2 team Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, 16 members on scene, 3 further members stood down responding.
  • Rossendale & Pendle MRT, 1 member
  • United Utilities Ranger Service, Ranger Guy Barker (in his Land Rover vehicle)

Given the popularity of the area this incident attracted a large crowd of interested bystanders, one of whom we understand included former team member from the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Dave Carpenter, who supplied photographs of the incident to the daily Bolton News newspaper (the report on this incident, with Dave’s photographs, should be in the Monday 17th December edition of the Bolton News)