Goats Hawse & Coniston Old Man 14th February 12:59 & 13:24hrs 3 & 4/2017


The fell tops were bathed in sunlight. Though cold, in the sunshine it was reasonably warm. Snow still stuck to the summits and in the shadows.

The team were initially contacted by NWAS to an incident involving a male having slipped and fallen a considerable distance on the Goats Water side of the Old Man of Coniston.

A full team call out was initiated. The team were made aware that the Helimed from Langwathby was attending. The descision was made also to contact the Coastguard as they can provide a winching facility.

The location given for the casualty placed him at the northern end of Goats Water. As soon as enough members arrived at the base the first vehicle was ready to leave. By this time Duddon and Furness MRT had also been asked to provide assistance. 

As we were about to depart a second call out came through involving a female having slipped and dislocating her knee just off the summit of the Old Man of Coniston. A decision was quickly made to contact Langdale and Ambleside MRT and Kendal MRT.

The first vehicle left for the male casualty at Goats Water. The five team members of the first Land Rover took the two halves of the stretcher, first aid, medical gasses and the cas bag.

The team were in constant contact with the base, helicopters and the neighbouring teams.

On arrival at Goats Water it was clear that the casualty was in fact not near the northern end of Goats Water but actually in the broken ground to the eastern side of Goats Water Hawse quite high up.

The Helimed landed in the school field in the village as they were unable to land close by. The Coastguard also landed in the School field as they were unable to winch the casualty from the position that they were in.

The team made there way to the casualty site and on arrival met 3 passers by who had gone to the assistance of the male one of whom was a trainee team member with a MRT team from Lancashire.

They had managed to keep the casualties airway clear and keep him warm. Oxygen was administered to the patient. Team members contacted members from DFMRT to bring ropes and crag kit and a stretcher to the site as they were being lifted nearby by the Coastguard.

The Coastguard arrived just off scene with the members from DFMRT and also evacuated the gentleman’s family back to the village. The stretcher party from Coniston MRT who were not on scene at this point were tasked with ascending the fell to the second casualty on the main track of the Old Man of Coniston.

As soon as DFMRT arrived on scene with the first casualty a rope system was setup and the casualty was placed in the stretcher. Time was of the essence at this point as the casualties condition was deteriorating. The casualty was lowered down the fell into a position where the Coastguard Helicopter could winch him from.

The casualty was winched into the helicopter and was taken back to the School field where he was transferred into the care of the Helimed team. After the gentleman was attended to he was flown direct to Preston Hospital for further treatment.

After the helicopter left the area the team members from Coniston MRT and DFMRT and the 3 passers by left the scene and made there way back to the Walna Scar track where the Land Rovers were waiting.

While this was ongoing the second casualty was being treated for her injuries by team members from Coniston MRT, DFMRT, Kendal MRT and LAMRT. The casualty was placed in the stretcher and was winched from the scene by the returning Coastguard Helicopter. The lady was flown direct to Barrow in Furness Infirmary for further treatment.

After the departure of the Helicopter all team members made there way safely off the fell back to the Coniston MRT base.

In total 14 members from Coniston MRT,
14 DFMRT, 7 Kendal MRT and 8 LAMRT assisted with these rescues which lasted just over 5 1/2 hours.

Thanks to all that helped on a very difficult day in the Coniston fells.

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