Incident 55/2013

At 16.42hrs this afternoon, we were paged by NWAS (Manchester) EOC Parkway to assist with a reported incident to a horse rider at Elton Reservoir, Bury.

Once our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE had liaised with NWAS (Manchester) EOC and gathered further information and an RVP was established, a full team pager call out was made at 16.55hrs.

By this stage an NWAS Response Vehicle and an NWAS Emergency Ambulance had arrived at the Elton Reservoir Sailing Club Car Park RVP.

At 16.58hrs a further update on the incident was given by NWAS EOC to our Team Leader, regarding the location of the casualty established by the NWAS Response Vehicle solo crew / Paramedic.

A female horse rider, from the Tonge Moor area of Bolton, whilst riding with friends on the north western shore of the reservoir had become unseated from her horse, suffering possible pelvis, mid back / spinal and cervical injuries.


Initial casualty care was already in progress when at 17.10hrs our first team member Bob Hutchinson, arrived on scene, very quickly followed by our first responding (Of two despatched) Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances.

Our Deputy Team Leader Geoff Seddon arrived on scene at 17.16hrs, with equipment despatched at 17.25hrs as more team members arrived.


The casualty was given pain relief drugs, splinted on a long board, and then placed on one of our specialist mountain rescue SAR Alpine Lite stretchers.

At this stage at circa 17.39hrs the NWAA Helimed 08 helicopter arrived overhead, landing at 17.42hrs immediately on the reservoir shoreline (The helicopter tail boom was over the water) near to the casualty site.


A short stretcher carry to the helicopter, by team members, then saw the helicopter lift off at 18.04hrs en route for Royal Blackburn Hospital.

With the walk back to our vehicles and the NWAS vehicles, all had left the RVP by 18.30hrs.

The following resources were involved in this incident, all working in total harmony;

  • NWAS (Manchester) Emergency Operations Centre ; Despatchers and Manager.
  • NWAS (Manchester) Response Vehicle ; Solo crew member / Paramedic, from Bury Ambulance Station.
  • NWAS (Lancashire) Emergency Ambulance; Two crew members, from Burnley Ambulance Station (This vehicle had actually been despatched earlier from its station to the Ambulance ‘holding point’ for a major RTC involving multiple casualties on the M62 in Yorkshire, and thence to this incident)
  • North West Air Ambulance, Helimed 08 (Blackpol Airport) Pilot, Doctor and Paramedic crew members.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; Two Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, ‘BM1’ and ‘BM3,’ sixteen team call out list members on scene and four more members stood down responding.

The team would like to extend its thanks to a local landowner on the north eastern side of Elton Reservoir, who kindly allowed access to the vehicles of our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and team member Gyles Denn, via a private locked access track, after their SatNavs had directed then via this access point to the incident RVP.