CVSRT - Items filtered by date: August 2016

To mark our 50th Anniversary, we’ve collated a selection of notable incidents from over the 50 years which have been published in a limited edition booklet.

One such incident was the search and rescue of Sir Fred Hoyle on 24th November 1997, who went missing whilst out walking near his childhood home at Eldwick, Bingley. Sir Fred was a famous physicist and arguably the most important astronomer of the last century, after Albert Einstein.

Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team were called to assist with the search for Sir Fred who had been missing for over 10hrs. He was eventually found in the early hours after a long night searching at Shipley Glen by Search dog “Tip” and handler Simon Adams, with navigator Martin Woodhead.

Simon recalls how he and Martin had been tasked with clearing the valley bottom;

“We had just received a stand down from control and at this point the dog teams were nearing the end of their search area. Search dog handler, Ellie Sherwin passed on the message that the dog teams would clear the remainder of their area before standing down.”

“Two minutes later we found Sir Fred Hoyle. He was lying on his back in the stream at the bottom of the glen. Martin moved in and quickly assessed the situation while I radioed control to tell them we had found him.”

“Ellie’s search dog unit guided other team members and equipment in to the casualty site and, in what seemed a very short time, the casualty was being delivered to the open doors of a WYMAS ambulance. A hard night’s work with an excellent result.”

Sir Fred was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary where the 82-year-old received treatment for a dislocated shoulder and hypothermia. Thankfully he survived his ordeal and when fully recovered, visited our base to meet his rescuers.

Incident Report:

Buy the 50th Anniversary Booklet and help raise funds for the team >> SHOP << 

Today CVSRT would normally be attending and supporting the annual Robinwood Activity Centre Charity Open Day at Dobroyd Castle, Todmorden, but as some of you may be aware the event has been unfortunately cancelled due to the recent fire that has sadly caused damage leaving some of the activity areas out of action.

The Robinwood Activity Centre Manager has released a statement:
“The Robinwood Open Day at Dobroyd Castle on Saturday 27th August has been cancelled, due to activity building fire damage. Robinwood, Dobroyd Castle, will open for school groups from Friday 2nd Sepember 2016 as scheduled.

We have, with regret, decided to cancel our charity open day which was scheduled to take place on Saturday 27th August, due to the damage caused by a fire in one of the activity buildings on Sunday morning 14th August.

As a result of the fire there are 3 activity sessions currently out of action and an area of the courtyard has also needed to be sectioned of for safety reasons. We need to work to ensure the activity centre, post fire, is ready and in the best state possible for visiting schools. We will be opening as scheduled for school groups, with a revised timetable on Friday 2nd September. We will be in touch groups booked in to confirm further details. 

We apologise for the cancellation of this year’s open day, but will continue to run a charity open day in future years just prior to the start of our Autumn season. Although the open day will not be taking place this year we will still be making a total donation of £5,000 to charity; this is around the amount that we would expect to raise on the open day.

We would like to offer our thanks to all the fire fighters who did such a fantastic job in putting the fire out before it spread. We also appreciate all the good wishes and assistance offered.

We will be working hard to get the activity centre back to operating the ultimate Robinwood timetable as swiftly as we can”.

Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team would like to wish the management and all the staff at Robinwood, Dobroyd Castle a speedy recovery and sincere thanks for their continued support, even in the face of adversity. Please don’t hesitate to ask for assistance if you need any help getting the buildings back into shape for the kids.

Visit the Robinwood Activity Centre website:


Thankfully Granville Muir was found alive but fragile by his granddaughter on Wednesday 10th August at 7.45pm. 

Here is a message of thanks from West Yorkshire Police: 

West Yorkshire Police would like to thank everyone who helped in the massive police search for a Halifax grandad. 

Granville Muir, 75, was reported missing on Saturday morning and concerns were growing for his well-being. A massive police search was launched to try and find him involving district officers as well as specialist search and rescue resources including the mounted section, dog unit and NPAS helicopter. Partners from the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (an organisation made up entirely of volunteers) and British Transport Police also provided invaluable help. 

The Force was also supported by members of the media who featured police appeals and members of the public who shared and retweeted appeals that went out on facebook, twitter and youtube. 

Mr Muir was found safe and well, although a little dehydrated and fragile at 745pm on Wednesday in a field off of Scarr Bottom Road, Halifax. He was taken to hospital where he is recovering well from his ordeal.

Superintendent Owen West of Calderdale District Police, said: 

"We were growing very concerned for Granville so I am delighted to report a happy ending. On behalf of the Calderdale District and Adele Muir (Granville's daughter) I would like to thank everyone who helped in the search. It truly was a team effort with everyone working together on behalf of a vulnerable missing man. 

"The fact that we have been able to return Granville to his children and grand children is thanks to that effort and hard work, with people going above and beyond to help. 

"I also want to pay tribute to the media who ran our appeals and everyone who shared our messages through social media channels - the response from people was nothing short of phenomenal and really helped when time was of critical importance. It just shows the power of social media in particular to help in police operations."

Words by CVSRT Trainees 2016: Ben, Dan, Jess, Jonothan and Keith

Friday 29th July 2016

We were three minutes into a ‘gentle stroll’ from our accommodation heading up to the summit of Croagh Patrick, County Mayo when CVSRT Paramedic and Recruits Training Officer Al Day asks the passing Mayo Mountain Rescue Team driver, on her way to an incident near the foot of the hill, “Calder Valley Search and Rescue – can we be of assistance?”

So much for a gentle warm up to our training weekend, and mountain rescue support for Reek Sunday - the annual pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick.  We were straight into our first real incident of the weekend, flexibility was to be one of the key themes of our training trip to Ireland.

Suitably we were laden with team kit, we soon found ourselves a short way up the track supporting the Mayo Mountain Rescue Team attending to a casualty. With no time to take in the stunning views across Clew Bay (or obtain helmets from another Irish team yet to arrive), the casualty was safely loaded onto the stretcher and on her way back down the hill.

Job done, we managed to find a local hostelry for a full team de-brief could be carried out. 

Ref: see Incident #948

Saturday 30th July 2016

The next morning, fully charged up after an ‘Al Day Breakfast Special’, we joined members of the Dublin and Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team for a stretcher exercise on the foothills of Mweelrea, highest mountain in Connacht. This was a good opportunity to become fully acquainted with the Irish Bog – although little did we know that later that day we were to experience Advanced Level Irish Bog training (with laden stretcher). More importantly, we were able to familiarise ourselves with the Team’s stretcher and other equipment. After a good session practising casualty loading with the vacuum mattress, manoeuvring the stretcher over rough ground and the “walking V” and snake belay for steep ground, we were about to head back to the vehicles and on to our hostel, for a quiet afternoon in preparation for the main event starting with a 2am alarm call for the annual pilgrimage on Reek Sunday.

Just then, a call came in for assistance with a fallen walker somewhere on the other side of the mountain. After a short drive up the valley we parked up at an outdoor activity centre. From there we were given a lift in an old mini-bus held together with gaffer tape up a track to the edge of the moor... and then it was back on foot with the stretcher, equipment and a host of midgies, with about 2km of Irish bog, streams and some of the deepest tussocks we had ever come across!

Some time later and on arriving at the casualty site, we quickly scrambled up the slope to assist Mayo Mountain Rescue Team who had just begun lowering the casualty on a stretcher using a snake belay – having practised it just a few hours previously, we knew what to do straight away, and jumped in to help. Once onto the flatter ground, there was just a short stretcher carry to load the casualty onto the waiting Irish Coast Guard helicopter.

Ref: see Incident #949.

And then there was just the small matter of retracing our steps back across the bog! Fortunately, we had the prospect of a fantastic 3 course meal arranged for the evening to spur us on.

Later that night and after the hostel had completed its midnight fire alarm test (!), the alarm clock went off. Passing a few pub late-returnees in the hostel reception, we headed out to the event HQ for breakfast, briefing... and more stretcher carrying!

Sunday 31st July 2016

By 4am we had made it to the medical station at about the halfway point up the side of Croagh Patrick to await further instructions. By this time, there was already a steady trickle of pilgrims heading up to the church at the summit – and some already on their way back down.

Flexibility and determination – two of the weekend’s themes as we were soon tasked to set up further up the mountain. This required a concerted effort from all, including extra team members pulling on ropes and slings attached to the stretcher to get everything to the location, approximately 100m below the summit via a very loose and steep scree path.

When in position a few carried on to the summit. The experience of having a large number of people gathering on a summit at 7am, some of whom were dressed either in their Sunday best or had walked up bare-foot, with mist hanging in the air was a unique and unforgettable one. An occasional waft of methylated spirits from the "pop up" cafe could be smelt with a constant stream of pilgrims coming up the mountain for Mass.

With no incidents apart from the occasional request for a group photo, after an hour or so we descended back to the main fell party to await further instruction.  Flexibility, determination and patience...three essential mountain rescue skills.

Fortunately for us (and unlike last years recruits) we finally had time to enjoy the views over Clew Bay and its 365 islands. We were also able to appreciate the massive effort and dedication demonstrated by the thousands of walkers, using a variety of techniques and walking poles, most of whom looked unlikely to venture on to a hill (let alone a mountain) at any other time of year!

Eventually, when our shift was over, there was just the small matter of wheeling the stretcher and equipment back down the scree to Mayo MRT’s base. We made sure to uncover the kit loaded on the stretcher, as many passing pilgrims hurriedly crossed themselves, thinking that we were retrieving a body!

The whole weekend was a great experience, from which we learnt a huge amount about how fellow mountain rescue teams operate and which will benefit us immensely as we move into the next phase of our training, as Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team Probationary members.

With massive thanks to: CVSRT Al Day, Rich Quinn, Les Wilson, Dublin and Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team and Mayo Mountain Rescue Team for all their hospitality and support over the weekend.

For further information on joining the team check out the Joining The Team page on our website.

Following on from yesterday's fundraising news, we have another fantastic announcement to share.

Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team are very pleased to announce that we recently received a donation of £1500 from the Rotary Club of Todmorden.

The cheque was presented by Ian Bantham, (Rotary Club of Todmorden President) and was gratefully received by CVSRT members Clive Green and Dave Astley.

These funds will go directly towards purchasing rescue equipment and keeping the team operational. CVSRT would like to thank everyone for their continued support.

Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team would like to take this opportunity to say a quick thank you for all the support and kind donations the team has received from our community, local groups and businesses since the beginning of the our 50th Anniversary year.

Over the next few weeks we will be making several announcements how these donations and funding will be used or has been spent.

On this occasion, CVSRT is extremely pleased to announce we have received a donation of £2000 from Round Table Groups of Hebden Bridge, Halifax and Elland. These funds will be used to purchase five waterproof radios that will improve communications during flood rescue situations.

CVSRT Training Officer, Howard Barton said, “We are all proud members of the local community, who know far too well the risk of flooding the region faces, and it is so important that we prepare well with the essential skills and correct personal protection equipment. This generous donation is gratefully received – Thank you.”

The team has an ongoing flood resilience programme to increase the teams capability by training and equipping as many team members as possible. We currently have 8 specially trained Swiftwater Rescue Technicians (SRT’s), who were most recently deployed to assist emergency services during the floods in the Calder Valley, Cumbria and York.

On Saturday 30th July, representatives from the Round Table Groups in Hebden Bridge, Halifax and Elland had the opportunity to visit The Rescue Post, to see some of our existing water rescue equipment and as you can see from the photos, one got more than he bargained for!

Please follow our latest news as we make more announcements how the team is developing and preparing for the future.

Images courtesy of

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