Incident 87/2014 – injured young mountain biker at Lyon’s Den

A 999 call was received by the North West Ambulance Service this afternoon concerning the report of a young 12 year old boy from Darwen, reported to be unconscious on the moor, in the vicinity of Darwen Tower.

At 14:39 the Bolton MRT was contacted by the Team Leader of Rossendale & Pendle MRT regards this call which had been passed to their team a minute beforehand by the North West Ambulance Service, however it transpired that the incident had occurred within BMRT’s operational area.

Also despatched to attend this incident was an aircraft from the North West Air Ambulance (Helimed 72) from City Airport Manchester.


It was soon discovered that the young male had fallen from his bike whilst riding in the company of his father and younger brother, on the gravel track near to an area known locally as Lyon’s Den. Coincidentally this was the exact same location as the last mountain bike accident which had occurred on the 12th October 2014 (see our incident report 86/2014)

Once the initial rendezvous point had been established, the Bolton MRT were called out to attend at 14:42. Twelve team members and three team Land Rover ambulances made their way to the Roddlesworth Information Centre at Tockholes, Darwen, to assist NWAS and the crew of the North West Air Ambulance with the treatment and evacuation of the young casualty.


Our first responding team Land Rover arrived on scene at 15:08 and drove onto the moor to meet with the NWAA crew. Unfortunately just prior to this, the weather had taken a turn for the worse, and torrential rain ensued throughout. Team members deployed a casualty shelter whilst treatment was given by the NWAA crew, and the casualty’s 10 year old younger brother was given shelter in one of our team Land Rover ambulances.

With suspected head, spinal and pelvic injuries sustained by the 12 year old male, he was splinted, immobilised and loaded onto a specialised “scoop” stretcher and pain relief was given. He was then carried by team members and the NWAA crew a short distance to the waiting helicopter, which departed for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital at approximately 16:00. Due to the suspected severity of his injuries, the casualty was accompanied by his father on the flight to hospital.

Bolton MRT team members present then conveyed the younger brother and the family’s three mountain bikes to their home address in Darwen, where team members were met by the casualty’s mother (owing to communication difficulties it had not been possible to get in touch with her beforehand).

The team’s best wishes are expressed to the young boy and his family, with the hope of a speedy recovery and return to mountain biking.

The following resources were known to be deployed on this incident:

  • Bolton MRT
    • 12 team members
    • 3 team Land Rover ambulances
    • 2 additional team members were stood down whilst responding
  • North West Air Ambulance
    • Helimed 72 from City Airport Manchester
  • North West Ambulance Service
    • Emergency Operations Centre (Broughton) Air Desk
    • Ambulance vehicles (stood down en-route)

This incident marks the ninth mountain bike accident attended by Bolton MRT so far this year (2013 – ten mountain bike incidents).