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 1980's Incidents, Call Outs and Other Events

Numbered Incidents are reported to Mountain Rescue - England & Wales

'S' Numbers indicate a Standby  and 'D' indicates our SARDA Dog Unit only was used. 


Incidents 1980 – 1989

The MPMAP (Mid Pennine Mountain Accident Panel) is the forerunner of the current MPSRO (Mid Pennine Search & Rescue Organisation)

? Indicates that the information is not currently available


9. 5th & 6th December. Search. Cowpe Lowe / Dearden Moor, Rawtenstall. Search for an elderly walker. Found deceased by the team. Other Teams attending included Rossendale, Bolton, Calder Valley and Holme Valley assisted by search dogs from SARDA.

8. 1st December. Search. 09:45 Hrs. Bamber Bridge, Preston. Search for a vulnerable missing female, aged 71. Reported missing since 14:00 Hrs on the 27th November. Nineteen Team members searched open ground, parkland, disused railway lines, river banks and woods between Preston and Bamber Bridge. The search lasted seven hours but nothing found. (133 Rescue Person Hours)

7. 24th October. Standby Search. Howgills. Standby to assist Kendal MSRT with a search for 4 missing walkers. Found by an RAF Search and Rescue helicopter. Team on standby but not used.

6. 1st September. Search. 18:16 Hrs. Garstang. The Team searched for a vulnerable male, aged 40, who had indicated he might self-harm. Eventually the missing person was located outside search areas at Bleasdale Post Office. Search lasted 13 hours with 16 Team members and 3 SARDA (England) search dogs and handlers also attending.

5. 17th June. Spot Pick-up. 21:00 Hrs. Helvellyn, Cumbria. A second incident whilst providing safety cover for the Ramblers Association Lakeland 3000 Event. A female participant had slipped on scree damaging her knee with cuts to her lower leg. Escorted from the summit of Helvellyn by the two person safety check crew to be joined on the lower slopes by three more Team members.

4. 17th June. Spot Pick-up. 14:00 Hrs. Scafell Pike, Cumbria. The Team was providing fell safety cover for the Ramblers Association Lakeland 3000 Event. A competitor arrived at the summit of Scafell Pike dehydrated and suffering heat exhaustion. He started to vomit violently. It was then determined that some months earlier he had suffered a ruptured gullet from a similar bout of vomiting. After consultation with a Doctor by radio it was decided to evacuate him from the hill before a similar incident occurred again. The casualty was evacuated with the assistance of the Team Leader of Langdale Ambleside MRT who arranged for an RAF helicopter that was already in the area to attend.

3. 10th June. Standby Search. 18:30 Hrs. Lancaster. The Team was placed on standby to search for a female patient missing from a local hospital. Patient turned up safe and well and the Team was not required.

2. 29th May. Standby Search. 18:30 Hrs. Southport / Ainsdale Area, Merseyside. Police had received a report of a possible crashed aircraft. Team placed on standby but the aircraft was located, safe, and we did not deploy.

1. 22nd & 23rd February. Search. Worsthorne / Deerplay Moors, Rossendale. Large scale search for a missing fell walker. Found, deceased, some days later on another part of the moors. Other Teams attending included Rossendale, Bolton, Calder Valley and Holme Valley assisted by search dogs from SARDA.


10. 26th December. Search. 08:00 Hrs. River Lune. Search from Lancaster to Glasson Dock. A mother and her two children had gone missing three weeks previously. Sadly, on Christmas Day at about 14:00 Hrs the body of a 3-year-old was located on the banks of the River Lune. The following day the Team searched the banks of the river from Lancaster to Glasson Dock. Nothing found. Bolton MRT assisting with 40+ members from both Teams present.

Post Script. Sadly, the following day, 27th December, the bodies of the mother and a 7-year-old were recovered, in a car, from Glasson Dock.

9. 22nd November. Search. 08:35 Hrs. Whittingham near Goosnargh, Preston. Team requested to search the grounds of Whittingham Hospital for a missing female patient, aged 34. Missing person described as depressed and could self-harm. The search was stood down when police returned the missing person to the hospital. She had been located some 10 miles away on route to a relative’s house. 21 Team member’s on this incident that lasted 4 hours. (84 rescue Person Hours)

8. 12th & 13th November. Search. Penley, Clywd, North Wales. An extensive search for a 15-year-old female who went missing on the 8th November. North Wales & SARDA Teams searching since early on the 9th. At the weekend teams from Mid-Pennine, the Peak District, South Wales and the RAF drafted in. Unfortunately, her body was recovered from the River Severn south of Bridgenorth some days later. She had been abducted and her body dumped in the river.

Postscript: The culprit had fled to France but was arrested and convicted of her murder.

The following Mountain Rescue resources were involved in this incident:

North Wales Mountain Rescue Association:

Clwyd Rescue Team (Now North East Wales SART)

Ogwen Valley MRT

Moelwyn MRT (Now South Snowdonia SART)

Rhinog MRT (Now South Snowdonia SART)

H.M. Coastguard MRT 83

South Wales Mountain Rescue Association:

Bridgend MRT (Operated with RAF St. Athan MRT)

Mid-Pennine Search & Rescue Organisation:

Bolton MRT

Bowland Pennine MRT (23 Persons attending)

Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation:

Buxton MRT

Kinder MRT

Other Mountain Rescue Units:



Military Units:

RAF Stafford MRT

RAF Valley MRT

RAF St. Athan MRT

C Flight, 22 Sqn, RAF Valley

RAF Shawbury

Various Regular & Territorial Army Units

7. 1st September. Rock Climbing. 20:00 Hrs. Stanworth Quarry. 20 Team members responded to a report of a female rock climber, aged 28, fallen 40 feet whilst abseiling. The group, having completed a lead climb of a route on the North Pole Buttress, decided to abseil off and remove protection running belays. Unfortunately, the abseil rope was not secured correctly and the person fell to the bottom of the Quarry landing on both feet. Ankle / lower leg injuries to both legs plus lower back and neck injuries resulted from the fall. The Team, under the direction of the Team Doctor, administered pain killing gas then carefully packaged the casualty in a spinal splint and carried her to a waiting ambulance on a Bell Mountain Rescue stretcher. (50 Rescue Person Hours)

6. 16th April. Spot Pick-up. 14:55 Hrs. Fiendsdale Nab, Langden Valley, Bowland. A 13-year-old Scout from Blackpool slipped and fell sustaining lower leg injuries. Fifteen Team members assisting with his recovery.

5. 9th April. Spot Pick-up. 18:09 Hrs. Parlick Pike. Team attended a 28-year-old male paraglider who had hit his spine on a rock as he landed near the summit of Parlick Pike. Team Doctor and 22 Team members attending. (38.5 Rescue Person Hours)

4. 26th March. Spot Pick-Up. 15:31 Hrs. White Coppice near Chorley. A third incident of the day. The Team attended to a female, aged 55, who had slipped and injured her right ankle. 15 Team members responding. (22.5 rescue person Hours)

The Team was providing fell safety cover for the annual Fiendsdale Fell Race and dealt two incidents as follows:.

3. 26th March. Spot Pick-up. 13:07 Hrs. Holme House Fell, Bowland. A male participant in the race fell and badly twisted his right ankle.

2. 26th March. Spot Pick-up. 13:00 Hrs. Holme House Fell, Bowland. A female participant suffered with exposure and exhaustion.

1. 18th January. Search. Barnoldswick, East Lancashire. The Team, along with other Teams, were requested to assist Rossendale FRT in the search for a missing elderly male. On arrival and just as initial briefings were about to start the missing person was located locked in a local church and we all stood down. He had been there some days.


The Team provides fell safety cover for the annual Three Peaks Cyclo Cross in the Yorkshire Dales. Apart from the usual cuts and bruises at the finish two hill incidents to report from this year’s race as follows:

6. 27th September. Spot Pick-Up. 11:52 Hrs. Ingleborough, North Yorkshire. Another male participant fell from his bike on the descent from Ingleborough. He sustained concussion and a groin injury. He was evacuated a short distance from the hill to a waiting ambulance at the road head.

5. 27th September. Spot Pick-Up. 11:27 Hrs. Ingleborough, North Yorkshire. A male participant had just started the descent from the summit of Ingleborough when he fell from his bike. Suspected injuries were a fractured left knee and left arm. Casualty was evacuated from the hill by the Team. Cave Rescue Organisation requested on be on stand-by.

4. 1st August. Spot Pick-Up. 11:45 Hrs. Bessyboot, Borrowdale, Cumbria. The Team was providing safety cover for the annual Borrowdale Fell Race. A male participant fell and fractured his right ankle. 16 Team members evacuated the casualty to the road head. (48 Rescue Person Hours)

3. 13th May. Search. 22:30 Hrs. Langdale, Cumbria. When a 66 year old man from Carlisle failed to return home from a walk, his family raised the alarm. Eleven SARDA search dogs scoured the mist shrouded fells through the night. At first light the following day the Team was requested by Langdale Ambleside MRT to join Furness, Kendal and RAF Linton-on-Ouse MRT’s in covering the complex area again. Sadly, at about mid-day the gentleman was found, dead, near Pike-o'-Stickle. Helicopters from RAF Boulmer and RAF Valley also assisted.

Langdale Ambleside MRT Incident 17/1987.

2. 3rd May. Search. 09:00 Hrs. Collingwood Area, Chorley. Team searched for a 77-year-old male in the Chorley area. Missing from home and suffering Angina but without his medication. Search of woods, quarries, farmland and other open ground undertaken by 25 Team members. Search lasting 6.5 hours but nothing found. Team advised Police of other areas to be searched including canal and local lodges (large, deep ponds). 2 SARDA search dogs and handlers also attending. (162.5 Rescue Person Hours)

Post Script: The missing person turned up safe having been admitted to hospital in the Isle of Wight. We understand that the Isle of Wight was where he used to holiday with his wife that he had recently lost.

1. 7th March. Bad Weather Standby / Support. 15:16 Hrs. Rivington, Belmont, Angelzarke, White Coppice near Chorley. Reports received of many vehicles trapped in deep snow drifts on high level roads over the moors. Abandoned vehicles checked for any occupants. Two groups of school children assisted from the scene. Assisted by West Pennine Moor Rangers. 17 Team members attending. (97.75 Rescue Person Hours)


6. 29th September. Animal Rescue. 17:00 Hrs. Ashnott Mine, Newton, Bowland. A pregnant cow was stuck approximately 120 yards down a mine 'adit level' entrance (a horizontal tunnel that leads from the open air into the mine). The entrance was unfenced and the animal had been able to walk in but had got stuck. Needed assistance to turn around and walk out. 17 Team members and a vet present. (68 Rescue Person Hours)

5. 23rd August. Spot Pick-Up 18:42 hrs. The Band, Great Langdale, Cumbria. A 50 year old lady from Ponteland stumbled on the rough path and suffered a possible fracture to her lower leg. Several members of the Team assisted Langdale Ambleside MRT with the stretcher carry to Stool End Farm.

Langdale Ambleside MRT Incident 33/1986.

4. 26th July. Spot Pick-up. 11:43 Hrs. Parlick Pike, Bowland. A well-equipped male walker, aged 65, suffered a heart attack whilst out walking on Parlick. Team arranged for a helicopter from RAF Boulmer to evacuate the casualty. 11 Team members responding to this incident. (16.5 Rescue Person Hours)

3. 29th June. Spot Pick-Up. 12:35 Hrs. Easy Gully, Pavey Ark, Langdale, Cumbria. Whilst preparing to start a route a 26 year old female from Liverpool was hit and pinned to the ground when a large rock fall occurred. She sustained fractures to her skull, collar-bone, arm, leg and other serious injuries. The Team was undertaking a "Joint Exercise" on Oakhowe Crags with Langdale Ambleside MRT when they were called to this incident. The casualty was lowered 40' to a flat area and a helicopter from RAF Boulmer winched her up and flew her to Whitehaven Hospital.

Langdale Ambleside MRT Incident 24/1986.

2. 21st June. Spot Pick-Up. 17:23 Hrs. Broad Stand, Scafell, Cumbria. A second incident in the same place but a few hours later. A rock climber who had completed a route on Scafell was descending via Broad Stand when he fell off sustaining spinal injuries. Three Team members, still providing safety cover for the RA Lakeland 3000 event, from the check point on the summit of Scafell going to assist. With two other Team members from the summit of Scafell Pike also responding. Incredibly, three Doctors, in the RA event were just passing and provided assistance. Casualty was again evacuated by a helicopter from RAF Boulmer.

1. 21st June. Spot Pick-Up. 12:15 Hrs. Broad Stand, Scafell, Cumbria. The Team was providing safety cover for the Ramblers Association Lakeland 3000 event. A walker fell whilst ascending Broad Stand fell and suffered head and leg injuries. The three team members on the checkpoint at the summit of Scafell immediately rendered assistance. A passing doctor also assisting. Casualty evacuated by helicopter from RAF Boulmer.


5. 5th October. Search. Tarn Hows, Grizedale Forest, Cumbria. Missing 30-year-old female, believed to be suicidal. 29th September. The Team joined many Teams from the Lakes, Mid-Pennines, North Yorkshire plus RAF Linton and Stafford Team’s in the search for the 30 year old Preston woman reported as suffering from depression. Her body was found near Hodge Close Road on the 5th October. Assisted by search dogs and a helicopter from RAF Boulmer.

Langdale Ambleside MRT Incident 50/1985

4. 3rd August. Spot Pick-Up. 15:10 Hrs Great Gable, Cumbria.

Whilst providing safety cover for the Borrowdale Fell Race a runner, aged 55, suffering from hypothermia was evacuated by the Team from near the summit of Great Gable. At the same time another runner, aged 23, slipped on wet rock tearing ligaments in his knee. This was also on Great Gable. He was evacuated by Keswick MRT who had been called in to assist. Another very cold, wet and windy day.

Keswick MRT Incident 31/1985

3. 30th May. Spot Pick-up. 15:00 Hrs. Great Langdale, Cumbria. The Team, assisting Langdale Ambleside MRT, went to the aid of a 24 year old man from Nottingham who had collapsed with exhaustion whilst en-route from Wasdale to Helvellyn. He was taken by ambulance to Ambleside Health Centre.

Langdale Ambleside MRT Incident 22/1985.

2. 29th May. Search. 11:45 Hrs. Fairfield Horseshoe, Cumbria. Whilst on an Army exercise a 19 year old soldier from Catterick was reported missing. The Team assisted Langdale Ambleside MRT in the ensuing search. 8 search dogs plus teams from Kendal and Patterdale also assisting. Missing person found safe and well the next day by a helicopter from RAF Boulmer.

Langdale Ambleside MRT Incident 21/1985.

1. 13th April. Spot Pick-Up. 15:05 Hrs. Ward’s Stone, Bowland. A group of eight Army Medical Corp volunteers (RAMC(V)) had been on a route march through Bowland. They had been out for 6 hours in the appalling weather conditions and four were suffering from exhaustion / hypothermia (2 males, 2 females). Team located the casualties and used casualty bags, sleeping bags, spare clothing and warm air equipment to treat them and warm them up. Casualties evacuated by a helicopter from RAF Leconfield. 22 Team members attending this incident. (110 rescue Person Hours)


3. 21st & 22nd November. Search. Great Langdale, Cumbria. Request to assist the Lake District Teams in the extensive search for two missing elderly walkers. Missing since the previous day. Located safe on the 22nd but exhausted and suffering hypothermia at Martcrag Moor. Airlifted from the hill. In addition to ourselves a full MPMAP call out with Bolton, Calder Valley, Rossendale, and Holme Valley Teams also attending. MPMAP search dogs also attending having been called at 22:00 Hrs on the previous day.

Langdale Ambleside MRT Incident 52/1984

2. 2nd September. Search. Brinscall Area near Chorley. Request by Police to search woods for a missing youth. Person had been missing for some weeks. Various sightings indicated that he may be living rough in the area. Missing person not located during search but further evidence was located indicating he may still be in the area. 23 Team members present. (126.5 Rescue Person Hours)

1. 5th August. Search. 19:00 Hrs. Parlick Pike & Fairsnape Fell, Bowland. Search for a male fell walker, overdue, no experience, no map and poorly equipped. Became lost. He eventually descended another part of the fell and rang home. 27 Team members attending this search. Four SARDA search dogs and handlers called but stood down before arrival. (67.5 Rescue Person Hours)


4. 23rd October. Search. Anglezarke Moor near Chorley. Search for an 11-year-old boy. Missing after an orienteering event. Turned up safe and unhurt.

3. 17th & 18th August. Search. East Lancashire. Search of Worsthorne Moor, Gorple Moor and Hardcastle Crags for a lone female walker, aged 20. Turned up safe and unhurt in Burnley. In addition to ourselves (part) a full MPMAP call out with Bolton, Calder Valley, Rossendale, Holme Valley Teams and search dogs also attending.

2. 17th & 18th August. Search. Great Langdale, Cumbria. Request to assist The Lake District Teams in a large scale search for a 29 year-old male. He had left a note that indicated he may self-harm. Found in Mosedale on the 18th with severe injuries and air lifted to hospital by a helicopter from RAF Leconfield. Initially, a full MPMAP call out. But, Bolton, Calder Valley, Rossendale, Holme Valley Teams redirected to incident 3 above.

Langdale Ambleside MRT Incident 34/1983

1. 16th & 17th August. Search. Great Hamledon, East Lancashire. Search for confused hospital patient believed to be on moorland. Sadly, was located in the grounds of the hospital he was missing from, deceased. In addition to ourselves a full MPMAP call out with Bolton, Calder Valley, Rossendale, Holme Valley Teams, search dogs and a helicopter from 22 Sqdn. RAF Valley in North Wales also attending .


3. 27th November. Spot Pick-Up / Glider Crash. Blindhurst Fell, Bowland. Two gliders from the local club collided in mid-air. One glider crashing into the fell side. Pilot deceased.

2. 6th & 7th August. Whitbarrow Scar, South Cumbria. Teams from the Lakes and Mid-Pennines including ourselves assisted by RAF Leeming MRT and helicopters from RAF Boulmer searched for a 75 year old man from Arnside reported missing on a walk. Found two days later by BPMRT Team members at the base of small crag, semi-concious with a broken collar bone but alive. Flown by RAF Helicopter to Lancaster Hospital.

Langdale Ambleside MRT Incident 19/1982

1. 11th & 12th April. Search. Grit Fell, Ward’s Stone &Tarnbrook Fell, Bowland. A two day search for a missing male thought to be about to self-harm. Sadly, the missing person was located, deceased. 4 Teams, 4 SARDA Search Dogs & handlers, Ranger Service personnel and Police Dogs plus a private helicopter assisting in this search.


3. 14th to 20th December. Bad Weather Cover. The Team along with Rossendale Team provided bad weather cover for Lancashire Ambulance Service. Four wheel drive landrovers being located at ambulance stations in Lancaster, Thornton & Stacksteads during this period of severe winter conditions. No further information available

2. 13th & 14th November. Search. Ribbleton / Grimsargh Area, Preston. Police requested the assistance of the Team in a search for a missing school boy, aged 12, lost on a cross country run. The Team searched through the night for the missing boy. Unfortunately, he was located deceased the following day. Rossendale Team & SARDA assisting with the search. This was the first full call out by the Police of BPMRT.

1. 24th April. RTA / Search. Wheelton near Chorley. A number of Team members came upon a Road Traffic Accident where the driver had left the scene in a dazed and confused state in a snow storm and freezing conditions. Team members present carried out a localised search. The driver was found safe and well.


4. 23rd October. Standby Assistance. Operation "Neptune". The new Team offered assistance to Lancashire Police during local flooding in Blackpool, Garstang & Preston but did not deploy.

'South Ribble Mountain Rescue Team (SRMRT)' and 'Northern Rescue Organisation (NRO)' amalgamated on the 8th October 1980 to form 'Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team (BPMRT)'.

Note that South Ribble is referenced as SRMRT throughout this document. During its existence is was referred to as South Ribble Fell Rescue Team (SRFRT) and South Ribble Search & Rescue Team (SRSRT)

Leading up to amalgamation both Team’s jointly attended a number of incidents:

3. Sunday 11th May. SRMRT & NRO. Local Incident. Tarnbrook near Abbeystead, Bowland. Both Teams assisted in tackling moorland fires in the Tarnbrook area. The final Call Out before the amalgamation of the two teams.

2. Saturday 29th March. SRMRT & NRO. Spot Pick-Up. Fairsnape Fell, Bowland. The Team’s attended to a Scout from Kirkham aged 15 or 16. He had walked approx. 9 miles with a heavy rucksack but had eaten very little. Adequately equipped but suffering from exhaustion and mild exposure.

1. Wednesday 23rd & Thursday 24th January. SRMRT & NRO. Search. Scafell Area, Cumbria. Both Team’s joined an extensive search involving many other Rescue Teams to find a male fell walker with severe exposure on Great End. Two men were missing after a walk to Scafell Pike. Bad weather had forced them to stay on summit plateau. By morning only one could proceed and the alarm was raised at 09:45 Hrs on the 21st January. The six day search, mainly in bad weather, ended when the missing persons body was located under 4ft. of snow off Ill Crag by one of the search dogs.

Langdale Ambleside MRT Incident 6/1980, Keswick MRT Incident 3/1980