Hikers evacuated from Cheviot by chopper

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Two elderly walkers were evacuated by helicopter from near the Cheviot summit last Wednesday night (Feb 19).

Borders Search and Rescue Unit (BSARU) and the Northumberland team were called out shortly after 9pm to help the two male walkers in their 60s who had set off from the Ingram Valley in Northumberland for a high-level walk in the Cheviots.

BSARU’s Damon Rodwell said: “In dense clag and very limited visibility, they became disorientated and used a fence as a navigational handrail.

Unfortunately it was a relatively new fence which wasn’t marked on their map, which served only to add to their confusion.

“Several hours after dark they managed to pinpoint their position at a finger-post on Cairn Hill, just a few hundred metres west of Cheviot summit.

“The older walker’s long-standing medical condition, combined with the pair’s exhaustion persuaded them to put in a 999 call to Mountain Rescue.”

Five BSARU members made for the Auchope Hut and Cairn Hill from Sourhope at the top of the Bowmont Valley, near Yetholm, while others headed to Windy Gyle and others set up a control centre at Sourhope.

In all, 19 of the local team responded.

Visibility cleared enough for a Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer to drop off Northumberland team members and a dog to Cairn Hill just before midnight and the walkers were found 500 metres from the summit.