Farmer helped rescuers

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Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team.
Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team.

A FARMER from Otterburn assisted Northumberland mountain rescuers on a dramatic mission in the Cheviot Hills on Sunday, helping to rescue 10 stranded walkers from waist-deep snow.

At around 3pm it was reported that the walkers and two dogs were stranded on Windy Gyle in the Cheviot Hills, on the edge of the Scottish border.

Members of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team were tasked by Northumbria Police to track down their location, and they were soon assisted by Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team and Border Search & Rescue Unit.

Team members had to wade through three to four foot snow drifts, sometimes even crawling, to reach the walkers’ location. All were suffering from the effects of cold, with three requiring urgent treatment.

When a coastguard helicopter was struggling to land because of the weather conditions, Neil Hindmarsh, who is originally from Otterburn and now farms in Rowhope, was called on to help the operation.

He said: “I took the equipment up as well as a paramedic from Bellingham and three mountain rescue people. Then I brought a group down, one was particularly badly injured, and did another trip to bring some others down. I’m glad in the end it was alright.”

Neil made two trips in his tracked vehicle to bring the most serious casualties back, while the rest of the group were walked off by mountain rescue members.

NNPMRT team leader, Iain Nixon, said “I would thank all the agencies involved and in particular praise the efforts of the farmer from Rowhope, without whose assistance the rescue would have taken much longer.”

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