Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association column: Testing missions out of temporary base

Rescuing a feathered friend
Rescuing a feathered friend

Another busy month including five call-outs in seven days.

With our headquarters still empty during the building work this sequence of incidents was a good test of our temporary logistical arrangements with kit and vehicles housed in different parts of Grassington.

We were called to Brimham Rocks twice, in fact on consecutive days. Both falling incidents, one with head injuries and the other a damaged ankle.

On our way back from the second call out we were diverted up to Conistone to stretcher a walker with a suspected broken ankle.

We were asked to assist the North Yorkshire Police in a lengthy search along the Nidd Gorge for a missing vulnerable female.

Our two search and rescue dogs were also in action, combing through the dense woodland. We were stood down after clearing our search area but were pleased that the police eventually found her in another area.

Other rescues included stretchering a Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme teenager to an awaiting road ambulance having aggravated a pre-existing knee injury, and a climber with a neck injury, again on Ilkley Moor.

Our third annual Wharfedale Three Peaks fundraising event was deemed another triumph with more than 300 participants across the three routes. One of the runners on the 22 mile course was Will Mawson, 24, from Guiseley.

We rescued Will a year earlier after a serious climbing incident falling 30 foot from the rocks in the quarry behind the Cow and Calf above Ilkley. His injuries included a broken back, 11 broken ribs, a fractured skull, splintered clavicle and a punctured lung.

Although his injuries were extensive, he only spent 11 days in hospital and returned to work a month later at adventure equipment specialists Facewest in Guiseley much to the amazement of work colleagues, friends and family and indeed us.

He then set about regaining his fitness and took up running so he could take part in our event to raise funds for the team. This he did to the tune of £900. A truly remarkable young man.

Will and his employers have stated their wishes to give ongoing support to the team and we certainly look forward to working with them.

We had the team out in force to look after and encourage the participants and it was another wonderful day.

It was also a special day for a lamb that some event runners reported back to us to say it had its head stuck in a fence but even more unusual was the oyster catcher we saved along the way.

We heard the bird crying in distress to find that both its feet were tightly tied up in sheep wool.

Oyster catchers are a common sight mainly along the River Wharfe where they come to breed each year.

We now have a new set of supporters and we might get a tweet or something from them as we pass their breeding areas.

The total amount raised from the event is expected to be more than £6,000.