May 27 2015
Tonight, our Training Officer Alistair Greenough organised a search and evacuation exercise for us all, in the deeply incised rocky sided and heavily wooded River Douglas valley at the Rivington and Horwich boundary.
More familiarly known locally for generations as Tigers Clough, former team member Gyles Denn had secreted himself in a steep sided rocky gorge section of the Clough mid way up the valley.
Our Trainee air scenting mountain rescue search dog handler Jess Ellesmore, with trainee search dog Blitz, was duly despatched in to the valley, with trainee team member Gary Melia as navigator.
A quick and successful find by Blitz and Jess, saw the main party of team members under Tony Dawson, sent in to the valley to extricate Gyles and stretcher evacuate him back to the search RVP at Knowle House Car Park, Lever Park, Rivington.
Recent rope work training was put to good practice, with our Equipment Officer – Ropes and Stretchers Nigel Booth setting up a rope haul system, with other team colleagues, whilst another party of team members abseiled and otherwise gained access in to the rocky gorge where Gyles had decided to ‘place himself.’
From arrival to Gyles being treated, placed on a vacuum mattress and hauled out of the gorge took circa 45 minutes, and then under the direction of Dave Cook, a stretcher party evacuated Gyles back down the valley.
All the retired for a late evening drink at the Crown Hotel in Horwich.
In total thirty team Call Out list members and Blitz attended this evening, with twenty eight members actually having an active role within the exercise.