Busiest year on record for fall rescue


The Grassington-based team had 73 calls, breaking the previous record of 56 in 2020, she said in its annual report.

The team is one of the few mountain rescue teams to cover underground rescues as well as more traditional surface and water incidents.

“Maintaining our capacities, raising funds and carrying out our rescues requires a lot of commitment on the part of the 60 volunteers who make up the operational team,” said the report.

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“This year (2021), they volunteered 2,690 hours in rescues, up from 1,924 in 2020, and 2,513 hours in volunteer training and 2,475 hours in management and fundraising.

“These numbers only include formal training and events, with a lot more spent in the background.

“We never know when we’re going to get a call and even looking back from year to year doesn’t help with the planning.”

The report adds: “The busiest month of 2020, July, only reached third place in 2021, tied with June on nine calls, April came second with 10 and May reached first place with 11. incidents, including three on the same day.

“Our regular Brimham Rocks and Ilkley Moor hot spots were featured again in 2021, although they weren’t as busy as they were in 2020 with just four calls each.

“It’s not that these places are more dangerous than anywhere else, they just get a lot more visitors.”

The team had eight calls to help with research, the majority of which concerned dementia or mental health issues.

“At the end of October, we were called in to help find a walker who had not returned and whose car had been found in Kettlewell,” the report added.

“The teams were deployed to meet at first light of day and spent the day covering the likely routes of Great Whernside as well as other valley paths.

“The second day of the search covered the flanks of Great Whernside with areas in Nidderdale and Coverdale excavated during a third day of the search.

“The teams were also supported by the North Yorkshire Police, the National Police Air Service and the Coastguard S92 helicopter from Humberside.

“Unfortunately, the following week the victim was found dead outside the search areas. “