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2000 Incidents and Call Outs

63. 31st December Snow / Bad Weather Cover / Spot Pick Up 14:15 hrs Beacon Fell Country Park, Forest of Bowland. A young female fell whilst sledging at speed, injuring her back. Team members were mobilised and the lady was treated at the scene. She was then carried on a Bell stretcher to a Team Landrover and transferred to a waiting Ambulance.

 62. 30th December Snow / Bad Weather Cover / Spot Pick Up 16:30 hrs Colne. Lancashire Ambulance Service requested help in reaching a female in her 50’s with a suspected fractured wrist. Again, this is not our normal area of operations but Rossendale SRT were still on a call-out so we responded. The ambulance crew managed to get reasonably close to the address and the Team was stood down

 61. 30th December Snow / Bad Weather Cover / Spot Pick Up 14.45 hrs Pendle Hill. Again the Team was asked by Lancashire Ambulance Service to assist with the evacuation of a person with a leg injury reportedly on Pendle Hill. This is not our normal area of operations but Rossendale SRT were unable to attend as they were already deployed. The Team was recalled whilst travelling to the incident once it had been ascertained that an ambulance crew was in attendance.

 60. 28th December Snow / Bad Weather Cover / Spot Pick Up 16.50 hrs Chorley. The Team was requested by Lancashire Ambulance Service to support Bolton MRT with the planned evacuation of a female who had been injured whilst sledging. As the Team standby crew based at Chorley was on route the young lady apparently stood up and walked away. Ah well.

 59. 28th December Snow / Bad Weather Cover / Spot Pick Up 15.10 hrs Lancaster. Whilst on standby at Cabus a Team Landrover and crew was dispatched to Lancaster to assist an ambulance crew who could not get their vehicle to an address where an elderly man had collapsed and had been forced to proceed on foot. The gentleman was taken by Team vehicle to the ambulance and thence to hospital. 

58. 28th December Snow / Bad Weather Cover 06.45 hrs All Teams operational area. Following a period of heavy snow, the Team was initially requested to standby at our Penwortham vehicle base in order to assist the Lancashire Ambulance Service as required. Later two Teams were based in Landrovers at Leyland and Longridge to provide cover at both ends of the county. As road conditions improved, the assistance for the Ambulance Service was scaled down but small Teams with vehicles remained on standby in both Chorley and Cabus for a further two days and were called several times (see above incidents).

57. 22nd December Search 14.15 hrs Preston. An urgent search was called by Lancashire Police for an 82-year-old female, dressed only in light clothing, who had gone missing from a residential care home on a cold, wet afternoon. The Team was requested to search open land some distance from the home but nothing as found. The search was called off six hours later. The lady was found safe that evening in an area adjacent to the rest home – moral of the story is search close to the Place Last Seen.

56. 3rd December Standby Safety Cover 14.00 hrs Bowland Fell Race, Forest of Bowland. Whilst Team members were on exercise in the vicinity of our Smelt Mill Headquarters we were on standby in the event of any incident that might have required our services. No assistance was requested.

55. 20th November Search 09.00 hrs Preston. An urgent search was requested by Lancashire Police in order to locate a missing suicidal middle-aged man. He had left a note and was repeatedly calling on a mobile phone, each time sounding more delirious until at one point he appeared to have become unconscious and could not be roused over the phone. Whilst Team members searched a wooded area the gentleman in question appeared and was found to be suffering from the marked effects of alcohol and mild hypothermia. He was transferred to a waiting ambulance.

54. 18th November Search 14.20 hrs Southport. Whilst returning to base from the two incidents in Heapy (see below), the Team was requested via radio by HeliMed 8 (NorthWest Air Ambulance) to assist them at an incident in Southport. Whilst travelling towards Southport the Team was stood down as the air crew realised that their situation was not as severe as they had first thought.

53. 18th November Search 13.50 hrs Heapy, near Chorley. Immediately following the search at Heapy the Team was redirected by Lancashire Ambulance Service following a report of a female in a red car in the Heapy area who had apparently overdosed on drugs and alcohol. We were requested to locate the vehicle and manage the situation until an ambulance arrived. After unsuccessfully looking for a vehicle matching the description given it was assumed by all concerned that the female had either driven off (!) or the call had been a malicious hoax. (Well, what else have 16 volunteers who have driven halfway across Lancashire got to do on a Saturday afternoon?)

52. 18th November Search 12.58 hrs Heapy, near Chorley. An urgent search was mounted at the request of Lancashire Police for a 37-year-old male who was described as suicidal and  had disappeared into woods carrying a ligature. The Team was deployed and searched the woods and nearby Healy Nab. The distraught man was found on a nearby road by a police patrol and the Team was stood down.

51. 18th November Search 11.20 hrs Ingol, Preston. Lancashire Police urgently requested a search for two missing schoolgirls aged 8 and 12 who had last been seen in the garden of their home. They had been missing on previous occasions and had camped on derelict land close to home. As the Team arrived at the designated rendezvous it was reported that the girls had been found safe and well and the Team returned to base.

50. 13th November Search 14.00 hrs Worsthorne, Team incident controllers were asked to mobilise the Team to assist Rossendale SRT in a search for a missing male who was possibly suicidal. As the Team was making it’s way to Burnley the missing person was located safe and well.

49. 8th November Search 12.10 hrs Lancaster. The Team was requested to search an area of open land and the banks of the swollen River Lune from Skerton to Halton in an attempt to locate a local female missing from home for several days. The search was called off after the area had been thoroughly combed.

48. 26th October Search 14.00 hrs Morecambe. An elderly female had written a suicide note, which was discovered several hours after she was last seen near the man-made breakwater on Morecambe seafront. Lancashire Police requested a small group from the Team to search the breakwater due to its awkward make-up of large, irregular blocks forming mini peaks, which were incredibly slippery. The blocks also formed a labyrinth of passages beneath (perhaps we should call Cave Rescue next time!). A thorough search was made of the area and nothing was found. The female was subsequently found safe in a hotel room.

47. 22nd October Spot Pick Up 15.05 hrs Chatburn, Forest of Bowland. The Team was asked to assist Lancashire Ambulance Service with the evacuation of a 12-year-old boy who had fallen from a tree and sustained back and leg injuries from an area described by the 999 informant as remote with difficult access. Team members were mobilised and travelling to the incident site when they were stood down. The ambulance crew had discovered that the area was not as remote or the terrain as difficult as described and they could manage alone.

46. 21st October Search 21.00 hrs Beacon Fell Country Park, Forest of Bowland. A car was found apparently abandoned on Beacon Fell and the Team was requested to search the area. Police activity and rescue personnel assembling at the rendezvous point prompted the missing female to appear and make herself known. All’s well that ends well…

45. 12th October Search 08.50 hrs River Ribble, Ribchester to Sawley. A 15-year-old girl on a field trip in the Dales was swept away whilst attempting to cross a swollen river at Stainforth, North Yorkshire. The Team was asked several days later to scour the banks of the Ribble and its associated tributaries near Ribchester in an effort to locate her. Despite Team members desperately wishing to find her to ease the public suffering of her family and following extensive searching, the operation was stood down. The girl’s body was located some time later a few miles downstream of where she had fallen in. Rossendale SRT completed the area from Sawley to the North Yorkshire border. Another sad day out.

44. 7th October Search 18.00 hrs Dunsop Bridge, Forest of Bowland. Smelt Mill, the Team’s Headquarters in the Trough of Bowland, was visited by the leader of several Duke of Edinburgh groups who were undertaking their expedition and en route from Waddecar Scout Camp to Newton via Fiendsdale & the Langden Valley. One group was four hours overdue at the checkpoint at Langden Intake. The Team was alerted and 45 minutes into the incident the missing group was located. They were tired and moving very slowly but in no danger. Once their safety was assured the Team was stood down.

43. 1st October Safety Cover / Spot Pick Up / Search Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross Race, Yorkshire Dales. The Team, present as safety cover for this race, was extensively employed this year.

a) One competitor in his mid-thirties fell from his bike whilst descending from Ingleborough, injuring his back. He was immobilised by the Team and evacuated on a Bell stretcher to a waiting ambulance.

b) A competitor in his twenties fell whilst negotiating a bend onto a road from a track and fractured his collarbone. He was treated by Team members at the scene and transferred by ambulance to hospital.

c) Riders reported a fallen competitor with an arm injury on the descent from Whernside to Ribblehead. Team members were despatched to locate him and possibly assist. However there was no sign of an injured rider and, following a wider search, the search party was stood down whilst the race controllers investigated further.

d) During c) another rider fell near Pen-y-Ghent and was evacuated to the road head by Cave Rescue Organisation members. 


Note on c) The missing young rider (aged 17) from Whernside was eventually located at the race finish, having completed the course with what was probably a broken collar bone. Apparently he didn’t feel the pain until he finished! (Hard people these bikers!). He was made comfortable prior to being taken to hospital.


Several other competitors were treated for minor injuries, cuts and bruises .

42. 30th September Search Borrowdale, Lake District. The Team were asked to assist Keswick MRT search for a missing man, an experienced fell walker, who had been staying in the area but who had not been seen for several days. The Team searched Cat Bells and part of Maiden Moor whilst other teams searched the massive area around Borrowdale. The extensive search continued for several days, proving fruitless. (A body, thought to be that of the missing man, was found in a gully on Great End in January 2001)

41. 3rd September Crag / Spot Pick Up Anglezarke, West Pennine Moors. The Team was called to the assistance of a fallen rock climber in Anglezarke Quarry. However, the team was stood down as Bolton MRT were exercising near nearby and they dealt with the incident.

40. 2nd September Search 14.00 hrs Bolton-le-Sands, North Lancashire. The Team joined a search for a 15-year-old male on holiday in the area who had run off following an argument. Despite extensive searching by Team members, Police, relatives and sweeps by the Lancashire Police Air Support helicopter he was not found. He was subsequently located at an address near to his home in East Yorkshire.

39. 10th August Search 19.15 hrs Preston. The Team was asked to assist Lancashire Police to mount an urgent search for a missing vulnerable elderly female in Moor Park, a large open area adjacent to her home. She was in a confused state and was only lightly dressed. Fortunately the female turned up safe and well at an address elsewhere in Preston.

38. 5th August Safety Cover Borrowdale Fell Race, Lake District. The Team has provided the safety cover for this prestigious fell race in the Lake District for many years. Team members treated several competitors for injuries sustained during the race. One competitor sustained a suspected fracture to his lower leg/ankle whilst descending from Dale Head and was evacuated by the Team before being transferred to the local hospital A & E department.

Several hours after the race finished, Team members were called to assist a male who had collapsed in the race field. He appeared to be possibly suffering from the effects of dehydration. He was cared for until an ambulance arrived.

37. 1st August Search 17.20 hrs Leck Fell, Yorkshire Dales. Team controllers were contacted by Lancashire Police following a call from a man whose friend was stuck down a hole on Leck Fell. It was apparently a cave or a pothole but the name and location were unknown. The police were redirected to Cave Rescue Organisation, but the Team remained on standby to assist if required.

36. 30th July Spot Pick Up 14.00 hrs Langdale, Lake District. A Team member was training a search and rescue dog close to the Kirkstone Pass when he (and other SARDA members) were called to assist Langdale Ambleside MRT. What was believed to be a major incident, involving multiple casualties, following a large rock fall at a popular climbing venue called Middlefell Buttress. An abseiling climber had fallen after his belay (a large rock) had given way. The rock had fallen, narrowly missing another group of climbers, but had severely injured the abseiler causing him extensive leg injuries. He received emergency treatment at the scene and was subsequently airlifted to hospital by RAF helicopter.

35. 13th July Spot Pick Up 14.00 hrs Longridge Fell. The Team was asked to assist Lancashire Ambulance Service with an incident involving an elderly man who had collapsed whilst walking the tracks on Longridge Fell, collecting berries. He had for some unknown reason walked into woods, telling his friend to wait. When he did not reappear, the friend went after him, only to find him collapsed, unfortunately dead as a result of a heart attack. Team members evacuated the deceased gentleman to a waiting ambulance.

34. 3rd July Search 15.00 hrs Carnforth, North Lancashire. A blood-curdling female (?) scream followed a few minutes later by cries of “Help me” heard by several people in the vicinity of Warton Crag prompted an urgent response from the Team subsequent to a request for assistance by Lancashire Police. Following eight hours of intensive searching of crags, dense undergrowth and open fell the operation was discontinued. Nobody was reported missing. A stupid time-consuming prank?

33. ? July Search 15.00 hrs Crook-o-Lune, North Lancashire. A dog continually barking at a parked car mid-afternoon prompted someone to call the Police who ascertained that the car’s owner was an elderly (but physically fit) female from East Lancashire. Suspecting a possible mishap, the police requested the Teams assistance to search the area. However the Team was recalled whilst travelling to the incident after the lady thankfully turned up safe and well. Apparently the dog, being faster than its owner, wanted its lunch badly!

32. 1st July Standby Safety Cover 14.00 hrs Nicky Nook Fell Race, Garstang. The Team was placed on standby and vehicles were positioned in the area. No incidents reported.

31. 1st July Spot Pick Up 11.00 hrs Beacon Fell Country Park, Forest of Bowland. The Team were asked to assist Lancashire Ambulance Service with the evacuation of an injured male fell walker with back, ankle and hand injuries following an awkward fall from a stile. He was evacuated to a waiting ambulance.

30. 25th June Spot Pick Up Dinkley, Forest of Bowland. The Team was asked to assist in the evacuation of a female with a lower leg injury who had slipped whilst out walking with her family in woods at Dinkley, near Ribchester.

29. 24thJune Advice 14.00 hrs Pen-y-Ghent, Yorkshire Dales. Whilst many Team members were deployed to cover the Four Peaks Challenge in Keswick, we were contacted by Lancashire Police. They had received a call from a man whose friend had suffered a seizure on Pen-y-Ghent Lane and required advice from the Team. As this is not our normal area of operation the call was passed to our neighbouring team, the Cave Rescue Organisation immediately.

28. 24th June Safety Cover Four Peaks Challenge Walk, Lake District. The Team was deployed over a wide area (Skiddaw, Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn and points between) to provide safety cover for this gruelling fell race but was not required other than to administer plasters for blisters! There were very few retirements despite the race conditions being wet and very cold on the mountain tops.

27. 19th June Search 20.00 hrs Banks near Southport, West Lancashire. A search was mounted in open countryside for a missing male. After the specified area had been thoroughly searched the Team was recalled pending further investigation. No further action was required.

26. 17th June Standby Safety Cover 15.00 hrs Great Hill Fell Race, Anglezarke Moor. Team placed on standby and vehicles were positioned in the area. No incidents reported.

25. 6th June Standby Safety Cover 19.00 hrs Paddy’s Pole Fell Race, Fairsnape, Forest of Bowland. Team placed on standby. No incidents reported.

24. 1st June Search 05.00 hrs Lancaster. Following a telephone call made to Lancaster Hospital purporting to be from the grandmother of a new born baby which had been abandoned at the entrance to Williamson Park police officers made an initial search and requested urgent assistance from the Team. A very thorough search of the area was made in wet, cold conditions using both hasty and slower conventional techniques before all parties were satisfied that there was no baby to be found

23. 20th May Standby Safety Cover 14.00 hrs Clough Fell Race, North Lancashire. Team placed on standby and vehicles were positioned in the area. No incidents reported.

22. 5th May Search 22.30 hrs Scotforth, Lancaster. The Team was called to assist in the location of a woman, known to be suicidal, who was missing from home. Fortunately she was found by police officers whilst the Team was travelling to Lancaster and we were stood down. (Sadly the female did commit suicide a few days later).

21. 5th May Search 16.26 hrs Leyland. The Team was asked to search for a missing 15-year-old male who had absconded from a group in the Worden Park area of Leyland. Mounted police officers and the underwater search team were also deployed whilst other officers checked various urban locations. The errant young man was found in a local house and the search was called off.

20. 30th April Safety Cover/Search Ribblehead, Yorkshire Dales. Whilst providing first-aid and safety cover at the Three Peaks Fell race, the Team was mobilised to search for a competitor who was overdue at a checkpoint. The missing runner duly appeared within 20 minutes, having got lost. He continued in the race.

19. 29th April Search 02.00 hrs (Standby) 05.00 hrs Cuerden Valley Park, Bamber Bridge. An elderly, depressed gentleman, known to be suicidal, was reported to Lancashire Police as missing from home. The Police followed up several possible sightings during the night. A first-light search was made by the Team across a wide area of parkland but was subsequently called off when the missing man was found dead by a member of the public some distance outside the search area.

18. 17th April Search 02.10 hrs Blackpool. The Team was requested to assist Lancashire Police to search parkland and open ground for a boy missing from home for four hours. As the search was being prepared, the boy was found elsewhere in the town and the Team was stood down.

17. 16th April RTA 11.20 hrs Dunsop Bridge, Forest of Bowland. The Team was asked to respond to a road traffic accident in the Trough of Bowland and six members were mobilised. The injured parties were reached with help by the Lancashire Air Ambulance and evacuated to hospital.

16. 5th April Spot Pick Up 11.55 hrs Parlick Pike, Forest of Bowland. A 74-year-old gentleman with a known heart condition ascending Parlick Pike collapsed unconscious near the summit. Team was paged and responded. Fortunately the Lancashire Air Ambulance was available and was able to land close to the casualty and airlifted him to hospital. Team stood down not required.

15. 4th April Search 23.15 hrs Walton-le-Dale, Preston. Team asked to assist Lancashire Police in a search for a missing, vulnerable, 12-year-old boy. The boy was located in a wood following a tip-off from his friends and he was led to safety!

14. 2nd April Search 13.05 hrs Nelson. Team was called to assist Rossendale SRT in a search for a missing 16-year-old youth who had become ill the previous evening. The illness was alcohol and drug-related and the young man had refused ambulance and doctor assistance at the time. He subsequently ran off from a second ambulance, prompting the search. Fortunately he was found within a comparatively short period of time.

13. 2nd April Animal Rescue 10.30 hrs Kirkstone Pass, Lake District. Two Team members involved in training search and rescue dogs with other SARDA dog handlers were asked if they could rescue a sheep that had fallen and been stranded on a narrow ledge some 15 metres up a sheer crag for several days. Despite attempting a last minute leap to oblivion, the sheep was caught and lowered to safety.

12. 20th March Standby Search 02.30 hrs Barrow Village. The Team was placed on standby to assist Rossendale SRT in a search for a missing, depressed young woman. In the event, we were not required.

11. 18th March Safety Cover Fiendsdale Fell Race, Forest of Bowland. One competitor took a detour and instigated a minor search by Team members.

10. 8th March Search 15.15 hrs Longridge. A 51 year old man who had been reported missing on previous occasions, had left a note saying that he was going for a walk and did not intend to return. It was thought that he had gone fell running. Despite 4 hours of concentrated searching, nothing was found. (The man returned home two days later following radio and press pleas for him to make contact.)

9. 4th March Spot Pick Up 15.00 hrs Helvellyn, Lake District. Three Team members undertaking winter skills development on the headwall of Helvellyn above Red Tarn were about to embark on their ascent when a climber fell above them and came bowling out of Number One gully, crashing head first into rocks below. They were with the injured man, a male in his early 40’s, within 30 seconds. After witnessing the fall, they feared the worst but the man’s helmet, though smashed completely, had absorbed the impact. His injuries were diagnosed as possible internal bleeding and a fractured leg. As they were treating him and radioing Patterdale MRT for assistance another man in his 60’s appeared from the same gully, his face covered in blood. He was the father of the casualty and had been above him when he fell and knocked his son from his stance. The father had arrested his fall but his son had proceeded headfirst down the gully. The father, who was suffering from shock, also had his injuries treated by Team members. A RAF helicopter arrived on scene and winched up the first casualty. A fault then developed with the winch which precluded the same means of evacuation for the father who was therefore stretchered down the slope to the helicopter which had landed on level ground next to Red Tarn. Moral of this particular story is always wear a climbing helmet as it definitely saved this man’s life. (If you do fall, it helps to fall close to a Mountain Rescue Team!)

8. 26th February Spot Pick Up 18.15 hrs Totridge Fell, Forest of Bowland. A mother and her daughter were reported by Police to be in distress on Totridge Fell on a very cold, wet and miserable day. As Team members were travelling to the incident, the affected persons managed to descend to a farm where they were re-united with the father who had raised the alarm. The clothing worn by this party was not adequate for the conditions on the fell tops. (Lesson – never underestimate the Bowland Fells).

7. 8th February Search 00.25 hrs Borwick, North Lancashire. Lancashire Police requested assistance in the search for a 12-year-old girl, missing for 4 hours after a family row. As the Team was assembling in the village north of Carnforth, the youngster, having seen the activity, telephoned the police to report that she was at a telephone box 2 km away from where she was subsequently collected.

6. 1st February Search / Air Crash 18.00 hrs West Pennine Moors. The Team was called, with Bolton MRT, to assist in locating a helicopter en route from Blackpool to Coventry, thought to have come down on the West Pennine Moors. An RAF Search and Rescue helicopter spotted the crash site and ascertained that one of the three people on board was still alive and duly airlifted him to hospital (where he later died). Team members were asked to guard the crash site overnight pending the arrival of the air crash investigators. The following morning, two remaining bodies were recovered & evacuated by the Team.

5. 20th January Search 02.30 hrs Ridge Lee Hospital, Lancaster. An elderly patient had absented himself from his ward in the hospital in the late evening and an initial search of the premises had proved negative. It was reported that the gentleman had restricted mobility. An extensive search organised by the Team of the grounds, surrounding farmland; cemetery and housing also proved negative. A widening of the search area after first light resulted in the location of a body, which was evacuated following Police involvement. Subsequently Team members attended the Coroner’s Enquiry where we were again thanked for efforts in trying to locate the missing person in what turned out to be another sad occasion.

4. 19th January Search 20.50 hrs Cuerden Valley Park, Bamber Bridge. An urgent call for assistance to search for a missing 11-year-old boy who had threatened to do himself harm after a family altercation resulted in a very rapid response from the Team who were in the area on a training evening. Fortunately the youngster was found within an hour and was reunited with his family, none the worse for his experience.

3. 17th January Search 22.30 hrs Beacon Fell Country Park, Forest of Bowland. On a particularly foggy night, the Team was called to search for 3 youths missing on Beacon Fell. They had been playing a form of “Hide and Seek” and had, not surprisingly, become lost. The adults “supervising” them were able to put Team Controllers in touch with the boys by mobile phone and they were eventually located on farmland some 2 km from Beacon Fell. A steep learning curve for the youths and those responsible for them!

2. 15th January Search 10.00 hrs Burscough, West Lancashire. Lancashire Police requested that the Team search for a missing 60-year-old female. As the search was extending from the Point Last Seen (PLS) the females body was found by a member of the public in an area about to be searched. The Team was stood down as the Police began their investigations.

1. 3rd January Search 22.30 hrs Littledale, North Lancashire. The Team was called to search for a man who had not returned home since leaving for work in the morning. He was known to be depressed. Team members, assisted by SARDA dog handlers, scoured the area where his van had been found and eventually located a body deep in a wood. The gentleman had apparently taken his own life. After police clearance, the man’s body was evacuated to the nearest road. Team members attended the Coroner’s Enquiry into this incident in Lancaster and we were thanked for our efforts in locating the gentleman. The first of what would be a number of sad days out for the Team this year. SARDA dogs and handlers assisted.