Incident 61/2014

At the conclusion of the previous incident we were paged by NWAS (Lancashire) Broughton EOC at 21.44hrs regards the teams immediate assistance at an incident initially understood by NWAS to be of a male having fallen down an embankment between Lower Rivington and Upper Rivington Reserviors.

Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, answered the call and liaised with NWAS EOC.

At 21.49hrs a full team call out page was made, with the two team Land Rovers involved in the previous incident being redirected from their journeys back to their garage locations, to the general area of Rivington.

In constant liaison and obtaining updates from NWAS EOC, our Team Leader established NWAS HART were also mobilising alongside Lancashire Constabulary Officers.

Bolton MRT members living close to Lever Park, were very quickly on scene at the reported Incident site, with nothing to indicate any emergency present.

Again via NWAS EOC our Team Leader was then informed the incident scene was near to Rivington Hall Barn, and with our resources closing in on the Rivington area, and thanks to the local knowledge of our Team Leader and liaison with our Deputy Team Leader Chris Greenhalgh, it was then established the incident scene was likely to be Alance Bridge, over the Yarrow Reservoir, Rivington.



Our Team Leader arrived as the first MRT response at this location at 22.05hrs, to face a very large Lancashire Constabulary presence, the first responding NWAS resources and some members of the public.

With the rapid arrival of other Bolton MRT resources, the NWAS HART Team  and LFRS resources, a rescue plan of action was rapidly put in place.

Passing members of the public had first noticed a 35 years old male, at the base of the bridge, on the very steep sided dry bed of the Yarrow Reservoir (Current water levels are very low due to drawdown)

They in turn rendered assistance and alerted Lancashire Constabulary, who in turn alerted NWAS setting off a multi agency response due to the location of this male in a relatively inaccessible to reach location.

First responding NWAS and NWAS HART personnel had placed the male on a scoop stretcher, after initial help had been rendered by NWAS and Police Officers.

Bolton MRT members then placed this and the male on one of our mountain rescue specialist stretchers, and carried out a short but high angle rope assisted stretcher evacuation up the steep sides of the drawn down reservoir, including over a short rock step.

At the top, after assisting with the rope haul (A redirected rope haul system) LFRS, NWAS, NWAS HART and Police Officers then helped with getting the loaded stretcher over a high stone wall and fencing.

By 22.52hrs the NWAS Emergency Ambulance departed with the male casualty for hospital, whilst all present packed away the mainly MRT equipment used in this rescue operation.

Throughout this night time rescue, in very warm conditions, all present came under tremendous ‘attack’ by swarms of biting midges, present everywhere in the still air conditions.

The following resources were deployed or otherwise involved in this rescue operation;

  • NWAS (Lancashire) EOC Broughton.
  • NWAS (Lancashire);  Two Rapid Response vehicles, one Emergency Ambulance (Walmer Bridge Ambulance Station)
  • NWAS HART from Trafford Park, Manchester.
  • Lancashire Constabulary Control Room ; Force Incident Manager.
  • Lancashire Constabulary; at least seven Police vehicles on scene and many Police Officers present.
  • Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service; We understand four Appliances responded, including their Water Rescue assets, with one Pump Appliance crew involved on scene and the other three crews held in reserve at the incident site and then stood down.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; Two Team Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, twenty three team Call Out list members.

We understand that Lancashire Constabulary at 21.58hrs called out Bowland Pennine MRT also to this incident, but their assistance was stood down once it was quickly established Bolton MRT were present on scene.
(The incident site is on the boundary between both of our teams primary operational areas)

We would like to extend our usual thanks to Bowland Pennine MRT for the use of their Winter Hill Repeater radio channel during this incident which greatly facilitated our communications throughout this evening.

This incident represented a large scale multi agency response with all responders; MRT, Fire, Police, Ambulance, HART, working closely together to achieve a successful rescue outcome in a very challenging situation (Not least the incessant midge attacks!)