Major rescue operation after man falls 50m down Cumbrian fell


The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) was called to a walker who had slipped and fallen around 50 metres into a gully at Sharp Edge, Blencathra, at 13.24pm yesterday. The man, in his forties, had sustained multiple injuries including a serious head injury.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) was called to a walker who had slipped and fallen around 50 metres into a gully at Sharp Edge, Blencathra, at 13.24pm yesterday.

The man, in his forties, had sustained multiple injuries including a serious head injury. In strong wind and driving rain, the GNAAS pilot dropped off aircrew paramedic Terry Sharpe at the bottom of the gully before repositioning to a safer location on the valley floor. Mr Sharpe negotiated his way down the gully to reach the patient.

For around an hour Mr Sharpe waited with the patient and his friends, assessing him and treating his injuries until the mountain rescue teams could get to the scene. The man was then carried on a stretcher for approximately 1.5 hours down to GNAAS’ waiting helicopter. He was flown to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. The flight took ten minutes and the man was stable on arrival.

The entire rescue took around seven hours.

GNAAS paramedic, Terry Sharpe, said: “It is a notorious ridge and we have been called to it many times over the years. In those difficult weather conditions, the chances of survival decrease. Regardless of his head injury, hypothermia is a very real risk in those conditions. It is therefore paramount that teams work together at rescues like this. Everyone worked hard for the best outcome for the patient. GNAAS brings the medical expertise to the scene and MRT bring their rescue knowledge, which gels well.” 

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