South Scotland

Pensioner rescued after Cheviot Hill fall

Hill rescue Image copyright Borders Search and Rescue Unit

A 70-year-old man has been rescued from the Cheviot Hills after falling and breaking his ankle.

He had spent 15 days walking the Pennine Way from Edale in Derbyshire and was near the finish in Kirk Yetholm in the Borders when he was injured.

The Borders Search and Rescue Unit (BSARU) was called out to the incident on Saturday night.

One member who lived nearby found the pensioner and he was then taken on a stretcher to safety.

"He's one of that stoic generation," said BSARU's Damon Rodwell.

"Immediately he realised that his walk had come to an abrupt end, he dragged himself into a hollow to escape the blustery wind, wrapped himself in all the spare layers he could muster, took some pain-killers from his first-aid pack and summoned help.

"He was able to give us an accurate grid-reference, which is always a huge help."

Mr Rodwell said the rescue operation had not been a straightforward one.

'Bumpy ride'

"The weather was pretty nasty and worsening," he said.

"It took some extremely deft driving by one of our members to get a Landrover as high onto the hill as he did, from where a party of four set off with a light-weight stretcher, followed shortly after by another group of four.

"It was a fairly long and bumpy ride for the casualty over this rough and boggy section, which he bore in good spirits, exchanging banter with the nine BSARU and one Northumberland team members who were doing their best to keep the stretcher moving while trying to avoid sinking into the bog themselves."

Team leader Stuart Fuller-Shapcott described it as a "text-book job".

"We've been busy providing first-aid cover at the various ride-outs that are taking place across our area through the summer, but a genuine life-or-death hill callout reminds us why we all volunteered for mountain rescue in the first place.

"We've done a fair bit of training recently around the Heatherhope Valley, so we knew exactly the best routes onto the hill and the challenges we'd be dealing with in getting our patient down to valley level in safety and relative comfort where we could hand him over to an ambulance crew."

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