A MOUNTAIN rescuer is fighting for life in hospital after falling 150m while trying to reach two stranded walkers who were breaching lockdown rules.
The volunteer, a man in his 60s, is said to have "life-changing injuries" after being called out to help a camper with chest pains on Red Screes in the Lake District.
Patterdale Mountain Rescue said they were contacted in the early hours of Saturday.
Rescuers were on their way to help when an "experienced team member" fell on steep ground.
The man was airlifted to hospital with spinal injuries and facial fractures.
Ambulance teams stretchered the camper with chest pains down the hill and took them to hospital by road.
Cumbria Police fined the campers £200 for breaching lockdown rules.
Officers said one man from Liverpool and another from Leicester were camping at Red Screes above Kirkstone Pass.
Mike Blakely, from the Patterdale rescue unit, said: "I cannot stress enough the message to stay at home during lockdown.
"This rescue, and the subsequent life-changing injuries incurred by our team member, were avoidable."
A spokesman for the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association (LDSMRA) urged the public to follow lockdown rules.
A statement from LDSMRA said: "No-one sets out on the fells with the intention of having an accident and our thoughts are also with the original caller who became ill whilst camping on the fells.
"However, the simple truth is that the more people who are out walking in the Lakeland fells, the higher the chances that our mountain rescue team will be called out.
"Rescues are much more challenging during the coronavirus pandemic; our team members need to operate in PPE, and many of our volunteers also have full-time jobs as key workers in the NHS and other essential services."
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