Dales Rescue


(Extract from The Wharfedale Observer Thursday November 6th 2003)

OTLEY scouts have been praised for their part in a daring l8-hour Dales rescue mission,

Members of the Bridge Church Scout Group helped Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue and the RAF deliver pot-holer Alan Cross to safety Mr Cross, from Leeds, broke his leg and suffered internal bleeding when he was crushed by a boulder while deep under. ground at Kettlewell, in Dowber Gill Passage, last Saturday afternoon.

The 13 scouts and five Explorer Scouts had been enjoying a weekend activities trip at the nearby Hag Dyke Hostel when they were drawn into the drama. The 11 to 16 year olds served up warm food and drinks for the rescue team members throughout Saturday evening. The next morning some of the older scouts helped to heave Mr Cross to safety and carry vital equipment to the helicopter airlift point.

Chairman of Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue, Harry Long, said: “The scouts were very useful. Instead of wasting time having our own manpower coming in and out of the cave, the scouts shifted an awful lot of equipment for us. “I would think the scouts will have found it useful to see what’s really involved in what was a pretty big incident,”

One of the scout leaders, 37year-old Adrian Stacey of The Whartons, Otley said: “To see two Sea King helicopters in one day when you’ve never seen one in your life before is quite something” “We had a mixture of girls and boys there at the weekend and they did a great job in making sandwiches and drinks to keep the rescuers going. ‘The injured man was in pain when he came out, but he seemed in good spirits. I think he was just glad to get out. “I was proud of the way all the boys and girls behaved, Bearing in mind that some were as young as 11, they all stayed calm and responsible.”

More than 80 people were involved in the rescue operation, which ended with Mt Cross being airlifted to Airedale General Hospital.