Monthly call outs rises to record levels for rescue crew

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Ten call outs in a month – we have never experienced that before but our controllers managed to muster enough members to meet each incident even though six of them were on week days.

Sadly there was a fatality when a cyclist fell 15 metres over a bridge at Hebden near Grassington.

We also had a full call out for a cave rescue near Kettlewell when two cavers, having traversed the difficult section, were overdue having been unable to find their way out.

Three caving teams were deployed through the night. The two cavers had been underground some 14 hours.

Locally we were called out to find and help a female with an ankle injury near Thuscross. She was stretchered to an awaiting road ambulance.

Last month saw our first animal rescue of the year when we retrieved a sheep from an old leadmine shaft.

Animal rescues have featured throughout our long history and so far we have rescued 482 sheep, nine horses, 51 cows, 49 dogs, 184 lambs, six goats and a parrot, well the parrot was an attempted rescue.

Individual sheep tend to be down holes or stuck on narrow ledges. Sheep buried in snowdrifts account for bulk rescues.

Horses tend to be stranded in water or in pits.

Cows have been retrieved from holes and bogs and we once managed to rescue one from a tree after it had rolled down an escapement before landing in the tree.

Goats bite of course so not the most popular call out. We don’t mind abseiling down the hole but it’s meeting the goat face to face while dangling on a rope that can be the painful bit.

Dogs - well we have many memorable stories ranging from the dog down a caving system near Pateley Bridge that wouldn’t bark to give us a clue to the nine days it took digging out a dog from a quarry in Addingham.

However, the dog story of all dog stories was the retrieval of WUFRA the lurcher saluki cross from the summit of Buckden Pike having been abandanded in dreadful weather with a broken leg and no food and drink for something like three weeks.

This successful and heartwarming rescue not only captured the hearts of the country through national press and television major coverage but went global to 27 countries around the world.

The resultant publicity for not just our team but Mountain Rescue teams work worldwide was truly amazing.

WUFRA survived its dreadful ordeal, the local vets who had only given it two hours to live nursed it until it was well enough to be operated on and today WUFRA enjoys a wonderful life with Helen and Brian Coates who run a dog training and grooming business in Grassington, both having refused point blank for it to be put out of its sad plight when we found it.

Sunday September 27 sees us taking part in the Pateley Bridge Walking Festival where again we are the event’s sponsored charity.