QUICK-thinking Sheffield Army recruit Daniel Rhodes has won an award after showing ‘exceptional determination and courage’ in a dramatic mountain rescue.
Private Rhodes, who has just completed training for the Yorkshire Regiment, was one of five soldiers who saved civilian instructor Steve Carter while on an adventure training expedition.
The group, being led by Mr Carter, was scaling 730m Kentmere Pike, in the Lake District, when Mr Carter fell awkwardly, breaking his ankle in two places and fracturing his leg below the knee, and went into shock.
Pte Rhodes, aged 21, and his colleagues, who were being trained at Catterick Garrison, built a stretcher using a tough sheet carried to use as a shelter, then managed to navigate their way down the mountain in thick fog to safety.
The five soldiers have each been presented with a Commandant’s Commendation for their efforts in the rescue.
Vicki, Pte Rhodes’s wife, said: “We are all very proud of him and the other four soldiers for helping the civilian instructor that day.”
An Army report about Pte Rhodes’ efforts said: “The weather on the hill was extremely poor, with visibility down to 20m.
“The recruits managed to carry Mr Carter using their own navigational ability.
“This included negotiating some extremely challenging terrain and crossing several fast-flowing and deep streams.
“Mr Carter was distressed and agitated, yet Pte Rhodes displayed maturity beyond his years by reassuring him throughout his ordeal.
“Pte Rhodes showed exceptional personal determination, courage and physical robustness.
“If he had not been so proactive there is a strong chance Mr Carter’s condition could have quickly deteriorated.”
Pte Rhodes, from Stradbroke, was praised as a ‘shining example’ to other recruits.