A HOSPITAL volunteer who collapsed while out walking has thanked his rescuers.

Lead volunteer at Darlington Memorial Hospital, Alan Charlton, collapsed on the Pennine Way, south of Cronkley Farm, in Teesdale, on January 21.

The harsh weather conditions meant an ambulance was unable to get to Mr Charlton, so the Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team (TWSMRT) were called in.

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The team, who were on a training exercise in Weardale at the time, rushed to the scene in one of their Land Rovers.

A spokesman for the team said: "After a demanding drive due to the weather conditions from Weardale to Teesdale, we left our vehicle and walked to Cronkley Farm and the Pennine Way.

"We found Mr Charlton and his companions, south of the farm on the Pennine Way. They had done a superb job of keeping him as warm as possible, especially as the conditions would have rapidly led to him becoming hypothermic, without the care given.

"He was assessed by one of the team casualty carers, and evacuated by stretcher to the waiting road ambulance."

Mr Charlton later thanked his rescuers.

Pete Bell TWSMRT deputy team leader said: "Having been involved in Mr Charlton’s rescue it was good to meet him again and see he is fit and well. This was an excellent example of Mountain Rescue working with our partner agencies including HART and the Ambulance service paramedics and staff."