Incident 79/2013

Following the receipt of a 999 call by NWAS (Lancashire) Broughton EOC after midnight, and the subsequent despatch of an Emergency Ambulance and NWAS contacting Lancashire Constabulary, at 00:28 the Bolton MRT was paged for an incident initially reported to us to be at Turton and Entwistle Reservoir. At this stage the Ambulance and Police were still en-route to the scene.

The pager call was answered by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, who was informed that the accident was off the A666. Based upon our Team Leader’s extensive local knowledge, and the information passed to him, he was able to inform Ambulance Control that the likely incident location was the quarries or natural rock outcrop in the Cadshaw area, and that local access tracks were gated and locked but that the team had access keys.

At this early stage of the incident two team members were already responding to our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ and Bolton Central Fire Station garage locations to collect team vehicles.

At 00:44 a fully detailed pager call out was made to all team members, with some members already responding at this time to the general area of Turton and Entwistle Reservoir.

At the same time, the first Police had arrived at the A666 RVP. They were soon followed by the responding NWAS Ambulance, but neither could gain vehicle access to the track to the Cadshaw area, due to the gate being locked. They they set off on foot (A fifteen minute brisk walk – if you know where to go)

At 00:44 our first team Land Rover went mobile from our LBH Base / HQ, followed by our second team Land Rover which went mobile from GMFRS Bolton Central Fire Station Garage at 00.50.

At 00:50 our first team member John Fletcher arrived at the A666 RVP, joined at 00:54 by team member Alan James, then at 00:56 by John Dickinson.

All three team members set off down the same access track.

Also at 00:56 our first responding Land Rover (BM3) arrived at the roadside RVP of the A666 near its junction with Greens Arms Road, near to the Turton and Entwistle reservoir.

Traffic on this main route between Bolton and Darwen is always busy, and given that the road is unlit and traffic generally is very fast (this is the exact location of an RTC hotspot) great care had to be taken with safety aspects of the Ambulance, Police and MRT vehicles parked there.

At 00:59 our third responding Land Rover (BM1) went mobile from our LBH Base/HQ.

At 01:00 our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE arrived at the RVP along with our second responding Land Rover BM2.

With the access gate now unlocked by the team, our BM2 vehicle, Team Leader’s vehicle and BM3 vehicle all accessed the track, collecting John Fletcher, Alan James and John Dickinson along the way.

At circa 01:00 our BM2 vehicle with five members on board arrived at the casualty site, the first arriving MRT personnel at the actual incident location.

A group of family and friends had been camping above the site of the Yarnsdale Delf Quarry, also known as Cadshaw Quarry or Main Quarry.

It was reported ot us that at some point in the night/early hours of the morning, members of the group had gone to a nearby “rave”, but had become separated on returning to their campsite.

It was after becoming separated and searching the immediate area that that one member of the group located the mising injured male, a man in his twenties from the Darwen area. He was found at the base of Yarnsdale Delf Quarry, amongst a large rock boulder field, with multiple major injuries, consistent with a fall from height, and the emergency services were then alerted.

Prior to the team’s arrival at the casualty site, a Police Officer who was first on scene had commenced CPR, being joined by the NWAS Emergency Ambulance crew.

Our five first responding members lent their immediate assistance to the Police and NWAS crews on scene, with our Team Leader arriving at the incident scene at 01:10 followed by our BM3 vehicle at 01:11.

Emergency casualty care continued, including CPR, and the team also deployed specialist PELI Portable Emergency Scene Lighting units.

By 01:15 our BM1 vehicle was at the roadhead and also deployed along the track.

The severely injured man was then placed on a long board, and his serious leg and ankle fractures were splinted using the team’s specialist vacuum splints.

He was then placed in our BM3 Land Rover whilst CPR continued, and was transported back to the road head.

At this stage responding Fire Fighters from LFRS Darwen also arrived at the casualty site, to be stood down on scene.

The A666 was now totally closed to all traffic with traffic queues quickly forming even at this early hour of the morning, but with a urgent casualty transfer necessary and a large volume of responding emergency vehicles and personnel in one area, it was fully required to do so for safety reasons. (Many thanks to the overall vast majority of drivers and passengers who were waiting and understood the reason for this, but no thanks at all to the very small number who complained at Police and ourselves when the road was reopened)

At the road head the casualty was transferred to the Emergency Ambulance, with CPR being maintained throughout.

The injured man’s partner and a member of the camping group had also been transported to the road head by our Team Leader in his vehcile.

The NWAS Ambulance departed at circa 01:46 for Royal Blackburn Hospital under Police escort, the Police also transporting the man’s partner to hospital.

Team member Michael O’Brien travelled on board the NWAS ambulance, assisting the two rear crew/NWAS personnel with continuing casualty care.

Back at the incident scene, team members assisted Lancashire Constabulary Officers with their initial investigations.

We were then informed that after admission to Royal Blackburn Hospital, which had been put on standby to receive the injured man, the male involved had died of his significant injuries.

By 03:30 the last team members departed the incident road head location (See also Incident 80, and Incident 81)

It appears that the man involved in this tragic accident had somehow fallen from the top of Yarnsdale Delf Quarry onto the large rock boulder field below, a vertical fall of some 75 feet/22.8 metres.

The team’s condolences are expressed to the partner of the man involved, his young child, family and friends.

At he conclusion of this incident a passing taxi driver alerted remaining team members to a collapsed man nearby on the main Bolton to Darwen road. Members immediately responded along with our BM2 vehicle to discover an intoxicated male asleep in a dangerous location on the pavement, immediately next to this busy road.

He was awoken and informed us he was happy to walk home. (This is recorded here for information only and does not feature in our Incident figures)

The following resources were directly involved in the Cadshaw Quarry incident:

  • NWAS (Lancashire) Broughton EOC, Control Room staff.
  • NWAS (Lancashire) Emergency Ambulance from Accrington Ambulance Station, three crew members on board, including a Student Paramedic.
  • Lancashire Constabulary – Four Darwen and Blackburn based Officers with their vehicles, and one CID Officer.
  • Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service – One Pump Appliance from Darwen Fire Station and five on board crew members.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team – Eighteen Team Call Out list members on scene, four specialist Mountain Rescue Land Rover Ambulance vehicles.

For all the emergency service responders involved this was a very serious and intense rescue incident, with all services present working seamlessly together on what was ultimately a very sad outcome.