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Air ambulance gets stuck on England's highest peak for two days

Air Ambulance grounded on highest England mountain for two days

By Web Desk
March 22, 2024
Thick fog traps air ambulance on mountain Scafell Pike for two days. — Great North Air Ambulance
Thick fog traps air ambulance on mountain Scafell Pike for two days. — Great North Air Ambulance

An air ambulance helicopter got stranded on England's highest mountain for two days due to thick fog.

The Great North Air Ambulance (GNAAS) helicopter was sent to rescue an injured hiker from Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England, said BBC.

The GNAAS critical care team successfully reached the injureed man and gave him with medical care. However, the weather rapidly deteriorated while they were preparing to depart. Thick fog soon blanketed the mountaintop, making it impossible for them to take off safely.

The pilot stayed with the helicopter overnight to ensure its security, despite extreme weather conditions. Meanwhile, mountain rescue volunteers safely transported the hiker who sustained a shoulder injury to a hospital by stretcher.

The GNAAS team was well-equipped for such an unforeseen situation as they had food, water, and thermal blankets onboard, allowing them to wait comfortably.

"This type of situation is extremely rare," said Lee Salmon, head of GNAAS operations in Cumbria. He said a simiilar incident happened in the Lake District over 16 years ago.

"As they got out of the helicopter, the weather literally just changed," Mr Salmon said.

"When the guys landed in clear air, there was blue sky, and the cloud came in and shrouded the helicopter.

"That cloud was -5°C (23°F), so ultimately it's moisture in the air and can cause icing, so at that point, we can't take off."

A break in the weather on Monday afternoon allowed another helicopter to safely retrieve the stranded aircraft and fly it back to its base.