Over £700,000 raised to support injured mountain rescuer after fall

Chris Lewis the injured rescuer
Chris Lewis is a member of Patterdale Mountain Rescue team (Image credit: Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team)

A fundraiser, launched to support an injured Mountain Rescue volunteer, has reached over £700,000 of donations in just a few days since launching. The Chris Lewis Support Fund was created to help provide the support he will need for the rest of his life, after sustaining life-changing injuries on a call out.

In the early hours of 6 February, Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team was called out to assist someone camping on Red Screes above Kirkstone Pass. Whilst the Team was making its way to the casualty, Chris Lewis, an experienced team member, fell 150 metres down a steep slope, sustaining life-changing injuries. 

Chris was given immediate medical attention by fellow team members and airlifted to hospital, where he remains in a serious condition. The original casualty was taken to hospital where he quickly recovered. The casualty and his companion had travelled from outside Cumbria and were fined for contravening Covid travel restrictions.

In an interview with BBC News, fellow Mountain Rescue colleague Mike Blakey said, "I've done this for 25 years, I can honestly say this was the worst rescue. I've seen some things in my time but you never expect to have to rescue one of your own. He's having conversations with me already about where we are going to go in the wheelchair."

Richard Warren, chairman of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, said Mr Lewis was a "fantastic guy" and the support had been "overwhelming".

Chris is one of 40 volunteers in Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, from all walks of life and a wide range of ages. The Team typically responds to approximately 70 incidents a year, usually, but not always, with less tragic consequences. The severity of Chris's injuries cannot be overstated and he will need significant support for the rest of his life.

Emily Woodhouse

An adventure writer based on Dartmoor, England, Emily is an active member of Mountain Rescue and a summer Mountain Leader, but loves all things adventure – before her third birthday she had lived on three continents. Founder of Intrepid magazine, she works to help break stereotypes about women in the outdoors. Her expeditions have included walking all Dartmoor’s 119 tors in a single two-week outing, cycling to Switzerland and back, and riding the Rhine from source to sea.