A dog saved his owner after raising the alarm after he fell into a 200-foot embankment.
Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team was called to the River Esk on Wednesday evening, following reports that a walker had fallen and was on the bankside rocks.
The man suffered potential multiple chest, shoulder, and other injuries, and was believed to have been stranded for several hours.
The alarm was raised after the man’s dog was spotted cold and alone at the top of the embankment.
The alarm was raised after the man’s dog, who was cold and frightened, was spotted alone at the top of the embankment.
A Cleveland Mountain Rescue spokesman said: “It is thought that the dog may have climbed up on hearing voices above which is how people at the top became aware of what had taken place.
“The dog was very friendly but cold, tired, and hungry but also reluctant to leave her owner until coaxed by team members.
“Once the casualty had been stabilised, he was lifted onto the rescue stretcher and secured within a vacuum mattress and a casualty bag.
“The stretcher was then moved a short distance away from the waterside and temporarily secured using a backup rope system.”
It took 27 rescue volunteers and five hours from when the call was first made from The Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) and Great North Air Ambulance to rescue him.
After the difficult 350-metre long forested area, the team had a 250-metre uphill climb across a field and back to the campsite where they transferred the casualty to the waiting ambulance for onward transport to the hospital.
The spokesman added: “The steep embankment made for a trick rescue operation, with no extraction route option easy.
“One included a steep climb up the embankment using a backup rope system although the vegetation was very overgrown with many loose rocks.
“Another option was to have him winched out by a Coastguard helicopter that had arrived. However, following an assessment on the ground by the helicopter crew, that option was discounted owing to the potential danger of flying debris from overhanging trees likely to be caused by the helicopter’s down-draft.
“Emergency services agreed to go for a long ‘stretcher-carry’ back the way that they had walked in – the problem being that it was along a very rough, ill-defined, muddy and undulating narrow path with lots of overgrown vegetation and trip hazards.
“It was then a matter of a slow, painstaking and careful carry-out lasting just under one hour, with eight rescuers handling the stretcher at all times.”
“Sometimes walking, sometimes stationary, and passing it ‘hand over hand’ depending on the difficulty of the terrain, the group took it in turns to allow sufficient rest for the mountain rescue team and the Coastguard crew who stayed on to help with the carry-out and the YAS paramedics who had a lot of medical kits to carry.”
The team thanked the farmers and campers at RV-point Wild Slack Farm, who directed rescuers to the scene, supplied water for the GNAAS crew and dog treats for the casualty’s dog – and took care of her at the farm.