Dramatic mountain-top rescue and evacuation by NWMRT and PSNI
On late Wednesday afternoon, Maydown PSNI were alerted that a member of a Duke Of Edinburgh Award group had injured their leg on Trostan Mountain in County Antrim and was unable to continue.
NWMRT were then tasked to make their way to the location to render assistance and 19 members responded.
The group leaders were contacted initially by phone and it was established that a 15 year-old male had a suspected broken right ankle. The group were safe with the casualty and two leaders sheltered in a green tent on the summit . The rest of group were advised to come down off the hill because of lying snow and strong winds.
The team then drove to a location as close as possible to the summit and then made their way up the hill, on foot… and carrying a lot of stretcher and casualty care equipment.
After a long climb, the casualty was located, and was given immediate First Aid (including splinting and padding).
As night was approaching and the conditions, with lying snow and freezing winds, would have made a carry-down by stretcher both long and difficult, it was felt that evacuation by helicopter would be the safest, quickest and best method.
The PSNI were contacted and their helicopter was dispatched to the area. Once it landed on the summit, NWMRT carried the casualty in the stretcher over 500 metres of steep, snow-covered ground, to load it on to the helicopter.
Initially it was intended to transport him to a waiting NIAS ambulance, but the crew kindly agreed to fly him direct to Antrim Area Hospital, while NWMRT made the long way back down the hill.
Once again, it was a great example of inter-agency co-operation to ensure a successful conclusion to what was a difficult, painful and possibly life –threatening situation.