Walker airlifted out of gorge after falling into River Swale

Photo: Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team.

A 52-year-old man who fell over a cliff into the River Swale had to be airlifted out of a gorge today.

The man suffered serious injuries after falling around 30 metres at Kisdon Force, near Keld.

Volunteers from Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team (SMRT) were joined by Yorkshire Ambulance Service paramedics and a Great North Air Ambulance crew at the scene in Upper Swaledale.

A spokesperson for SMRT said the walker had taken a “long tumberling fall and then a shorter fall over a cliff into the river”.

The casualty was initially assessed by passing military medics, then the ambulance service crews.

The  SMRT spokesperson said: “After assessment it was decided to call the coastguard helicopter from Prestwick to winch out of the waterfall.

“A tricky winch from a tight spot.”

While the aircraft was enroute, the MRT team hauled the stretcher from the waterfall to a more stable winching point.

“Thanks to everyone who assisted and to the locals farmers who help move kit,” the spokesperson added.

“This was a complex rescue involving multi agencies.

“The casualty was in a deep gorge which was difficult to access.

“Extraction was via technical rope rescue.

“At this time are thoughts are with the casualty and we wish him a speedy recovery.”