Peak District Mountain Rescue: Local chief says 2023 is busiest they have ever been after hectic weekend
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The opening six months of 2023 have been the busiest ever recorded for Peak District mountain rescue teams, according to the chairman of Sheffield's nearest group.
The Edale Mountain Rescue Team (EMRT) faced five separate incidents on Sunday, September 3, during the final weekend of the summer holidays. It is reported incident callouts were up 10 per cent between January and June 2023.
Ian Bunting, EMRT chairman and operations officer for the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation (PDMRO), said: "I think there are more people coming out. During Covid-19, there were more people getting out in the Peak District and other areas and that trend has continued."
The record number of reported incidents was best demonstrated last weekend, when the EMRT, a registered charity funded by donations, responded to seven incidents in just two days.
It started in Eyam on Saturday morning at 11.34am, when EMRT were asked to join a search for a missing woman by Derbyshire Police. After several hours searching, the woman was thankful found and safely returned home. This was EMRTs 99th incident of 2023.
Just three hours later, a call for assistance from the Buxton Mountain Rescue Team sent the crew to Ravenstor, where a climber had fallen six metres. They were treated and lowered down the "steep and precarious" slope where they were transported to hospital by ambulance.
At midday on Sunday, EMRT were again called out with Buxton MRT to a walker with a lower leg injury in Grindsbrook. Two EMRT members responded, after the rest of the crew were diverted to a second incident in the Hope area at 12.30pm.
This incident involved reports of a person falling from a height. Crews quickly reached the casualty, following some investigating to narrow down the location, where they were treated for multiple injuries. An air ambulance was called in, but the person was eventually transported to hospital via land ambulance.
At 2.08pm, as the incident in Hope was being concluded, EMRT were called to a fallen climber in the Goliaths Groove area of Stanage. Crew members and a paramedic attended, which ended in a straightforward evacuation after a needing to take "an interesting route" back to the main track.
Whilst returning to their base after the Stanage incident, EMRT members spotted a member of the public leaning heavily on a friend on the roadside. The team stopped to assist with the patient, who was dealing with a medical episode, until ambulance crews arrived.
Finally, just after 6pm, crew members were called to an incident near Grindleford, where a walker had slipped and suffered a lower leg injury. After being treated and packaged by EMRT, the patient was transported to hospital by ambulance.
Mr Bunting said: "It was a busy weekend. It's not unusual for us though as it comes in ebbs and flows.
"There's generally rhythm or reason to it. This weekend, the Peak District was very busy with it being the last weekend of the school holidays and the great weather."
With more people visiting the Peaks, it is no surprise accidents and incidents in the mountains are on the up too. Luckily, EMRT had no serious injuries to report from Saturday and Sunday.