Man Taken Ill on Cader Idris

At about 2:30 p.m. on Monday 17th June, Call-handlers from Aberdyfi Search & Rescue Team were made aware of a walker having seizures near the summit of Cader Idris. The 59 year old man, part of a group of 7 climbing the mountain, was taken ill a few hundred metres short of the summit of Pen y Gader. 

Given the seriousness of his condition, assistance was requested from the Coastguard helicopter R936, but it quickly became clear that the cloud-base was too low for the helicopter to reach the casualty site. The only option was for mountain rescue volunteers to make their way on foot to the casualty, and to carry him down to a position where the helicopter could then evacuate him. 

R936 landed in Dolgellau and picked up a team of rescuers to fly them as close as possible to the casualty site. This was the first of 3 such uplifts to place rescuers and equipment on the mountain. 

Having reached the ill man, rescuers made further assessments which confirmed the seriousness of the situation. As the man's companions, cold and wet, were escorted down from the mountain by Team volunteers, others were preparing the casualty for a stretcher carry down to a suitable landing site.

As the transport process was about to begin, it became clear that there were occasional breaks in the cloud cover. This information was passed to R936 standing-by at Minffordd, and the crew decided to get airbourne to see what opportunities might be available. The helicopter inched its way up through the mist and was able to reach the casualty site and land. The man was quickly loaded aboard before the gaps in the cloud closed again and R936 made a quick exit, getting down safely below the cloud-base before taking the casualty to Ysbyty Gwynedd for further assessment and treatment. Everyone was safely down off the hill by 9:00 p.m. 

Graham O'Hanlon was present at the casualty site. "We were facing a long, slow and difficult stretcher-carry with a seriously ill casualty, so were very happy to see R936 emerge from the mist. We are extremely grateful to the crew of Coastguard R936 who gave us fantastic support throughout this operation and pulled off what looked like quite a remarkable piece of flying to reach our position."

Twenty three volunteers from the Team were involved in the 6.5 hour operation.