SCORES of walkers enjoying the weekend sunshine saw a dramatic multi-agency rescue unfold before their eyes in the hills above Saddleworth.

Oldham Mountain Rescue Team were alerted by both North West Ambulance Service and GMP to reports a woman had fallen somewhere in the Greenfield Reservoir area and sustained a badly broken ankle.

But due to a poor phone signal, the rescue team could not use PhoneFind accurately, so they relied on a combination of local knowledge and guidance of passers-by who helped point them in the right direction.

A quick search by the team led to the casualty's location by a waterfall in steep sided Birchen Clough.

As the woman, 39, was being treated by the team’s doctor and ambulance service, a call for assistance was made to a marine coastguard helicopter from Humberside to help with the extraction of the injured woman from the steep-sided clough.

And, as back up, the Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team went on standby just in case the helicopter couldn't make it and the patient needed to be carried from the challenging terrain.

An Oldham mountain rescue spokesperson said:”Fortunately, the helicopter from Humberside was tasked and the casualty was winched on the team stretcher for onward transport to hospital.

“The casualty’s friend was walked off the hill and taken back to her car by GMP Saddleworth & Lees, leaving us to gather our kit and return to base to prepare for the next time we're needed.”

Thanking all the services, Rob Tortoiseshell, OMRT’s leader, said: "This was a great example of inter-agency collaboration on a busy day in the Dovestones area.

“I'd like to thank the public for their cooperation while we dealt with this incident."

Eighteen members OMRT, five from Holme Valley, two from NWAS and three GMP personnel, plus the coastguard helicopter, were involved on the incident which lasted more than three hours 30 minutes.

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