Busy weekend for Mountain rescue team

The Merrick
The Merrick

The Galloway Mountain Rescue Team were kept on their toes at the weekend with two call-outs in one day.

At 12.40pm on Saturday, the team received a call from the Scottish Ambulance Service to assist with the evacuation of an injured mountain biker who had sustained head and neck injuries after taking a fall over the handlebars of her bike as she negotiated one of the obstacles at 7 Stanes Kirroughtree.

Six team members responded from Newton Stewart in the team Land Rover.

The team medical officer who co-ordinated the rescue said: “The casualty was packaged with a cervical collar and vac-mat, a specialist piece of

equipment which wraps around the injured person and forms a rigid cast. It protects the casualty by immobilising any movement during their evacuation to the hospital. Working together with the ambulance personnel she was transferred initially to an ambulance and thereafter taken to DGRI by Helimed 5, the Scottish Ambulance Service air ambulance.”

The woman’s injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

As the crew were standing down from the call, a second was received at 4.30pm when a lost and disorientated but experienced walker, caught out in low cloud on the Merrick, contacted Police Scotland and asked for assistance. He was fit and well but unable to navigate himself off the hill safely.

The team were alerted and initial contact made with the walker using a mobile phone.

Team Leader Mike McCann, who co-ordinated the search said: “One of our team members, who is familiar with the Merrick features and landmarks, was

able to pinpoint the walker’s location. He provided navigational instructions over the telephone to guide him to safety. We were conscious that there is poor mobile phone reception in this area of the Galloway Hills and because he also told us his battery was low, we mobilised our Land Rover from Newton Stewart with a crew of four team members. They made their way to the nearest vehicle access point on the Bennan hill and deployed onto the hill.

“In the end, using the guidance we provided, the walker successfully relocated himself onto a familiar hill path and navigated himself off the hillside.”

The team stood down and returned to their base at 7.00pm.

Mike McCann added: “It’s unusual for us to receive two callouts in a single day, although it has happened on a few occasions in the past.”

For more information about the voluntary activities of Galloway MRT including details of incidents, training, walk routes and much more, visit www.gallowaymrt.org.uk.