Incident No: 46
Date: 9th July 2017
Location: Great End – Central Gully
Incident Details: The Team was alerted by Wasdale MRT to an incident, supposedly in Cust’s Gully, Great End. Four people were reported stuck, and one injured by a rockfall. The Team was very short-handed, and requested assistance from Wasdale, who were just completing an incident. The group involved had set out to scramble Custs Gully, but had mistaken Central Gully for Custs. At a point three quarters of the way up, a rock came loose, and injured one of the party. At this point, they realised the seriousness of their position, and requested assistance. Although a sunny warm day, they were in a north facing gully, which was damp and cold.
A Team member, marshalling on an event, was close by, and although he could not reach them, was able to pinpoint their location, and get details of the injury. The Team had already set off to Seathwaite with initial kit, and a second vehicle soon departed, carrying 200m ropes for the lower. Whilst they were en route, a request were made for RAF Leeming rescue team, who were training in the area, to come and assist, as a long stretcher carry would have required a lot more people. Enquiries were also made about the availability of a helicopter, in the event of an immediate evacuation being necessary.
It took over an hour for the first team reach the scene, and they swiftly rigged ropes to lower a Team member to assess the injury. Team members from Wasdale arrived, and once the 200m ropes were on scene, arrangements were made to lower the members of the party down the crag to the foot of the gully – approximately 200m. The injured female was assisted down by a Team member, and then the others followed. Because of the complexity of the ground, and the need to protect all the participants, this took a long time, and by the time the last to be lowered was on the ground, 6 hours had passed since the initial call.
The casualty’s group were able to hobble down to Wasdale Head, with Wasdale team members, whilst Keswick members stripped the rigging system down, and made their way wearily back to Seathwaite. A successful rescue, but one which could have had fatal consequences.
Our thanks to Wasdale team for their assistance, and to the RAF Leeming MRT who stood by ready to assist with the carry off should it be required.
11 Team members + 5 Wasdale MRT + 8 RAF Leeming MRT – 7 hours 30 mins