UPDATE: Outdoor adventure activities encouraged following Cowling climbing accident

Members of the rescue team lifting the injured climber onto a stretcher

Members of the rescue team lifting the injured climber onto a stretcher

First published in Keighley

A 54-YEAR-OLD man was injured in a fall while climbing outside Cowling.

Personnel from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (SRT) were called out to help the man at Earl Crag.

A spokesman for Calder Valley SRT said: "At 11.45am last Sunday, (July 20) Yorkshire Ambulance Service requested that we assist with the evacuation of an injured man who had fallen while climbing at Earl Crag.

"The man was bouldering on the crag and had landed awkwardly, fracturing his lower leg.

"24 team members went to the scene to assist the stricken climber.

"Working alongside paramedics from Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, once the patient’s pain was under control, our members evacuated him on a mountain rescue stretcher to the waiting helicopter which had landed at the top of the crag.

"The helicopter transported the man to the nearest road where more team members helped transfer him to a waiting road ambulance."

A spokesman for Yorkshire Ambulance Service said its personnel were initially called to the scene at 11.33am. She added that after the air ambulance helicopter had flown the injured man down from the crag he was taken to Airedale Hospital.

Earl Crag is a prominent gritstone outcrop above Cowling, and has long been a popular destination for climbers.

Les Wilson, team leader at Calder Valley SRT, said: "This job was a really good example of inter-agency working, with ourselves, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Yorkshire Air Ambulance all working closely together to help the patient. This is something we do regularly.

"We would never discourage people from taking part in adventurous activities. Generally, people who take part in such activities are very competent and well prepared, and climbers tend to work in pairs anyway so they can easily contact the emergency services.

"Earl Crag is a new area for us, because it's somewhere which did used to be covered by the Upper Wharfedale team, till we realised that it's actually closer for us to respond to.

"It's a real beauty spot, and very popular with climbers, walkers and mountain bikers."

Mr Wilson stressed that his voluntary organisation receives no direct Government funding, and is entirely reliant on public donations. "It costs us more than £35,000 a year just to exist," he added.

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