After being missing in the Lakeland Fells for 48 hours, the rescuers, who instated the huge operation, revealed details of the missing walker's whereabouts. It took seven mountain rescue teams, two helicopters and eleven search dogs from all across the North of England but eventually Richard Cockerham was found on Monday near Scafell Pike.
After he'd failed to return from a walk from the mountain, he was reported missing on Sunday evening, he sustained multiple minor injuries and was brought to a hospital via air ambulance, after finally being found at about 10 am by search dog handlers in upper Eskdale on Tuesday.
The Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was one of the brave teams who took part in the search for Cockerham. Twelve of their members joined the search on Sunday night and Monday morning, and involving a further 22 on Tuesday.
A team spokesperson said: “The team was requested to assist Wasdale MRT on the evening of the 14th. The team covered footpaths up to the Styhead stretcher box and Esk Hause, but there was no sign. Given the foul weather, the search was continued on a much larger scale on Tuesday, with five teams, a Coastguard helicopter from Prestwick, and search dogs involved. The Keswick team, having been out the night before, covered other teams’ areas for the day, while Wasdale, Duddon, Cockermouth, Kendal and Penrith teams continued the search. By nightfall, there was still no sign of the missing man, who had by now been out for 36 hours in really poor weather. An area wide search was set up for Tuesday, with Wasdale as the bronze command. Six rescue teams, including an RAF team, and 11 search dogs from as far away as the North-East and the Peak District came to assist.”
The Keswick team was asked to begin another complete search of the crags around Scafell Pike itself, and then the top of Great End.
The spokesperson said: “A helicopter from Caernarfon was in process of lifting the first group up to Scafell, when word came in that the missing man had been found near Scar Lathing in Eskdale, after a search dog party heard shouts for help. He had suffered injuries in a fall, and was flown to Furness General Hospital by Rescue 936 [the Caernarfon Coastguard helicopter] for treatment – but he was alive after 48 hours out in really foul weather. Details of his ordeal are not yet available, but his injuries are reported to relatively minor, considering the length of time he had been out, and he is expected to make a full recovery.”
Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team said colleagues from Duddon and Furness joined the search on Sunday, with the Monday operation involving themselves and teams from Kendal, Coniston, Penrith, Cockermouth and Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs.
The search on Tuesday saw volunteers from Wasdale, Keswick, Kirkby Stephen, Duddon and Furness, and Bowland Pennine teams and members of the RAF Mountain Rescue Service.
a Wasdale MRT spokesperson stated “There were dogs from the Lakes and as far away as Oldham from Search and Rescue Dogs Association England, around 10 o’clock this morning shouts for help were heard in the Silverybield Crag area in upper Eskdale. The missing walker was found stuck in boggy ground. He’d been moving throughout much of the time and had injured his wrists the previous evening. He was airlifted to hospital by the Coastguard helicopter from Caernarfon. A good outcome. We’d like to thank all the teams, dog handlers, air crew, police and others who’ve supported the search, often in difficult conditions."
Neil Blewett, who is the aeronautical operations controller at the Air Rescue Coordination Centre for HM Coastguard, included: “This is a fantastic outcome and testament to the perseverance and determination of not only the huge number of teams out searching but also the casualty. Hope was fading of finding the walker safe and well after such a long period in such challenging weather conditions. He is mildly hypothermic and has sustained some other minor injuries but is conscious and has been flown to hospital and we wish him a speedy recovery.”