Portishead lifeboat crew in Scottish mountain rescue
Crews from Portishead's volunteer lifeboat trust were called into action despite being 2,000ft above sea level when they went to the aid of a walker who fell 100ft down Ben Nevis.
Nine members of the Portishead Lifeboat Trust were taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for the trust and were half way up Ben Nevis in Fort William on Saturday when they saw a female walker in front of them fall from a mountain path.
Portishead Lifeboat crew members taking part in a charity trek help to rescue a woman who fell 100ft down Ben Nevis
The woman, from Essex, tripped and fell 100ft down the mountain just after 3pm after part of the path she was walking on, gave way beneath her.
Members of the lifeboat trust, who were walking behind her, saw her fall and shouted at her to grab something on the grassy bank below the path.
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But the woman, who was walking for breast cancer charities after fighting off the disease twice, failed to grab hold and cart-wheeled down the mountain until she came to rest in a river bed.
Trainee crew member Simon Gotobed, 26, and Bob Hone, who was also taking part in the charity hike, rushed to her aid.
The pair scrambled down the cliff and made the woman comfortable, supporting her injured back and trying to raise her out of the icy water until rescue teams came.
Crew member Jon Colwill raised the alarm by blowing on the emergency whistle and radioing walk organisers to summon help from mountain rescue teams.
Fellow lifeboat volunteer Andy Allen had an E-Trek satellite navigation device with him and was able to give the woman's exact location to rescue crews.
Mr Colwill, a lifeboat coxswain, said: "The woman ended up with her feet pointing towards the cliff face and her head in the stream.
"She was just a few feet away from a cliff ledge with a drop of around 150ft. It was horrific to watch as she literally cart-wheeled down the mountain and my initial reaction was that she was dead. When she came to rest we heard her start groaning in pain."
Both Simon and Bob, 51, who lives in Shirehampton, stayed with the woman, talking to her and keeping her warm for more than an hour while emergency crews arrived.
Simon, of Portishead, who is trained in first aid, gave her basic treatment and supported her back using rucksacks.
Mr Colwill then scrambled down the cliff face and with another man, tied a rope around Bob and secured him to a tree to make sure he was safe while he stayed with the woman on the cliff ledge until rescue teams came.
The injured woman was airlifted to hospital and, despite suffering from facial fractures, broken ribs, a broken wrist and broken fingers and severe bruising, was said to be in a stable condition.