At 13:16 on Tuesday 24 May 2016, the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team and the North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were requested to attend an incident at Peel Crag near Once Brewed. Mountain Rescue personnel were on-scene within 25 minutes of the initial call. A climber had fallen approximately 16m, only a few metres away from a another similar incident that the Mountain Rescue Teams responded to just 10 days earlier; landing on boulders and uneven ground at the bottom of the crag. A Doctor from the Great North Air Ambulance treated and stabilised the casualty before being stretchered by Mountain Rescue and the North East Ambulance Service HART team across uneven ground to the awaiting helicopter.
Reports on social media have suggested that the incident on 14 May was caused by rock instability and a chockstone becoming dislodged. There is no evidence to suggest that the incident on 24 May was caused by similar means. Both casualties were experienced and well equipped rock climbers.
At 14:23, as the Peel Crag casualty was being loaded into the Great North Air Ambulance, the Teams were requested to attend another fallen climber incident at Kyloe Crag. Three Team members and a North East Ambulance Service Paramedic arrived on scene at approximately the same time; within 30 minutes of the activation. The Paramedic and a Mountain Rescue medic worked together to stabilise the casualty who had sustained a serious lower leg injury in his fall.
Given the nature of the terrain and the casualty’s injuries it was deemed a helicopter evacuation was required. A Coastguard helicopter was despatched from Prestwick for its winching capabilities. The helicopter on arrival at Kyloe Crag winched the stretcher and casualty on board from the location below the crag. The casualty was then transferred to a crewed road Ambulance for onward transport to hospital. The North East Ambulance Service HART team was also involved in the incident.
A total of 10 Mountain Rescue Team Members were involved at Peel Crag for 1.5 hours, and 11 Team Members at Kyloe Crag for 2.5 hours.
With three climbers, each with potentially life changing injuries airlifted from Northumberland crags within 10 days, the Mountain Rescue Teams wish to remind all climbers to minimise their exposure to risk by taking reasonable precautions.
Furthermore, the Mountain Rescue Teams would like to thank their Members’ employers, families and friends, who allow Members to disappear to attend such incidents at a moment’s notice without question, day or night. All Mountain Rescue personnel are volunteers and each team requires around £20k every year to remain operational, which is funded entirely by charitable donations. Anyone wishing to donate, can do so at the following links:
NNPMRT – www.justgiving.com/nnpmrt
NOTMRT – http://www.notmrt.org.uk/NOTMRT/Fundraising.html
A video of the Peel Crag airlift can be found at
A video of the Kyloe Crag airlift can be found at