A hypothermic man who became separated from his friends whilst on a trip to rural Northumberland was brought to safety thanks to persevering officers.
Just after 8am on May 4, Northumbria Police received a report that a 53-year-old man had knocked on the door of a remote property in Harbottle, appearing dazed and confused.
The kind-hearted occupants of the address suspected the man had been wandering around lost in the surrounding terrain of Barrowburn and Whiteburn Hills all night, and they invited him inside whilst assistance was sought.
However, within just a few minutes, the man’s condition deteriorated and the couple re-contacted emergency services stating he required immediate medical attention.
Officers contacted colleagues at North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) who dispatched a community paramedic to the scene, but due to the secluded nature of the area, the route was inaccessible to the vehicle they were travelling in.
North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team (NOTMRT) were contacted, quickly dispatching a vehicle enroute from Rothbury to assist.
However, only five minutes later, police officers in a specialist 4×4 vehicle scooped up the paramedic and transported them directly to the scene to treat the man straightaway.
The man, who was camping with two friends, told officers he’d become separated from them overnight but was not aware of their exact location.
After an extensive search by unwavering cops using their all-terrain vehicle, the man was reunited with his two missing friends just after 2.30pm – where they were able to safety make their way home back to the Newcastle area.
Praising the response by the officers, paramedics, and Mountain Rescue, Chief Superintendent Sam Rennison said: “This is a great result for all those involved in an incident where things could have ended tragically.
“I’d first like to offer my thanks to the Good Samaritans who assisted the man in his time of need – without their help I have no doubt the man would have become seriously ill, or even worse.
“And as always, a massive thanks to our partners at NEAS and Mountain Rescue Team who are always on hand to assist when we need them. It is wonderful for our rural communities to know we are all working together and are on hand to respond in your time of need.
“I would ask anyone who goes walking, hiking, or exploring in the most rural and remote areas of our region to always do their due diligence and familiarise themselves with their surroundings before embarking on such a trip.
“This story has a positive outcome thanks to the swift response of the force and our partners – however things could have had a much different outcome and we are extremely grateful that it didn’t.
“Whether you’re exploring new terrain, or you’ve been there before, please consider taking precautions such as downloading what3words, letting someone know exactly where you’re planning on going, or even buying a satellite phone for emergencies.”
A NEAS spokesperson said: “We were called at 8.32am on 4 May to Uswayford Farm in Harbottle.
“We sent one emergency ambulance but were unfortunately not able to reach the patient due to the terrain. Thanks to the support from our police colleagues we were able to get to the patient who was treated on scene and able to return home.”
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