Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association

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The Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association is based in Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales of northern England, and provides help to people and animals in difficulty in the caves and on the fells around Wharfedale, Nidderdale, Littondale and Mid-Airedale.[1][2] Although it is staffed by approximately 80 volunteers and funded by donations,[3][1][4] it is integrated into the emergency services and is called out by the police when there is an appropriate incident.[5] The Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association was founded in 1948, and is the third oldest such team in the UK.[6]

Major incidents which have occurred in the area for which the Association is responsible include the Mossdale Caverns incident in 1967 during which six cavers drowned when the system suffered catastrophic flooding,[7] and an incident in Sleets Gill Cave in 1992 when rising water levels required two trapped cavers to be dived out through 200 m (656 ft) of flooded passages.[8] This was the first major use of diving gear to rescue non-divers in the UK,[9] and in the following year a reconstruction of the incident was shown on Tyne Tees Television.[10] Members attended the team's 1,000th callout in March 2012.[11]

The history of UWFRA was documented in the 1988 book Anytime...Anywhere: the First Fifty Years of the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association written by members of the UWFRA.

See also


  1. ^ a b "About the Team". Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  2. ^ Anytime...Anywhere. Clapham, via Lancaster: Dalesman Publishing Company. 1998. p. 7.
  3. ^ "Rescue team's £45,000 vehicle takes to the road (From Craven Herald)". Craven Herald & Pioneer. 4 September 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association". JustGiving. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Safety Advice". Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Founder member of fell rescue team dies aged 89 (From Craven Herald)". Craven Herald & Pioneer. 8 May 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  7. ^ Kershaw, Ray (28 March 2008). "What lies beneath: Mossdale caving disaster". The Independent. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  8. ^ Deane, Roy (June–July 1992). "Lucky Escape: The Sleets Gill Rescue". Descent (106): 20–21. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  9. ^ Halliwell, Ric. "A Century of British Caving". Craven Pothole Club. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  10. ^ Howes, Chris (April–May 1993). "No Picnic at Sleets Gill". Descent (111): 5. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  11. ^ Roberts, Liz. "Rescued challenge walkers return to mark team's 1,000th callout". grough Limited. Retrieved 28 April 2013.

External links

  • UWFRA website
  • A film made in 1964 depicting a reconstruction of a cave rescue by the UFFRA
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