Perilous rescue mission to save fallen walker on Saddleworth moors to feature on TV

ONE of Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s most perilous rescue missions to save a walker who fell 200ft on Saddleworth moors will appear on a reality television show on Tuesday, August 31.

On February 23, experienced hill walker Imran Choudhury was training for a Mount Kilimanjaro sponsored walk for the NHS.

Imran flanked by OMRT duo Adam Knight and Dr Andrew Taylor

The dad-of-three, from Oldham, stopped at the famous Trinnacle landmark at Ravenstones Brow and asked two passers-by to take his photograph.

But when he started climbing back down, he blacked out and fell 200ft and was left clinging to a 50-degree slope in the ravine.

Imran, 36, recalled: “It was a very steep climb and I was walking against the wind that day. I took lots of photos and videos and went to the Trinnacle where two people took my photo.

“I did a live video for social media and actually said at the end of it, if someone fell from here that would be the end for them.

“I started to climb down and that’s the last thing I remember.”

Horrified walkers Carly and Nadine saw Imran plummet down the hill and phoned the emergency services.

Another couple – Caroline and Paul – also offered their help. Paul managed to brave the descent to Imran’s aid and stayed with him throughout his rescue.

YAA dispatched their aircraft with Pilot Lee Holmes, Doctor Andy Pountney and Paramedics Al Day and James Allen on board. Her Majesty’s Coastguard and Oldham Mountain rescue team also attended the moortop incident.

The weather was treacherous with extremely strong winds making the rescue mission one of the teams most challenging ever.

James Allen, YAA Hems Paramedic, said: “It was blowing a gale and the ground was crumbling away in places. If any of us had lost our footing, it would have been game over.”

Medics carried out emergency care and YAA Pilot Lee tried to relocate the aircraft to the bottom of the hill so OMRT and YAA clinical staff could carry Imran down.

However, the wind was too strong so a search and rescue helicopter was dispatched and was eventually able to winch Imran to safety.

He was flown to Sheffield Northern General Hospital by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance waiting helicopter.

Imran had broken two skull bones, one of which penetrated his brain and caused serious internal bleeding. He also broke his shoulder, shoulder blade, spinal bone, a small bone in his leg left and badly damaged his right leg in six places.

Imran recovering in hospital

He spent three weeks in an induced coma and a total of nearly two months in hospital, returning home on April 19, in time for his wife and daughter’s birthdays that month.

“When I woke up from the coma I didn’t know where I was or what had happened,” Imran said. “It took some time to realise the extent of my injuries.”

He has since made a good recovery but still undergoing treatment for his injuries.

Imran added: “Without the members of the public, the emergency services wouldn’t have come to my rescue as they called them and without the emergency services, I wouldn’t be here today.
“They are my angels who saved me. I’m so grateful for their help. It was a very challenging rescue and it’s amazing what they did to save me.”

Imran has remained friends with Carly, Nadine, Caroline and Paul who stayed with him during his accident and has since met up with the Mountain Rescue team who helped him and the YAA crew.

He thanked those involved, including hospital staff, YAA and OMRT, by providing them with a huge curry meal from their family takeaway The New Polash in Chadderton.

Imran’s episode will be aired on Helicopter ER: The Critical Hour on Tuesday, August 31 on Channel Really at 10pm.

OMRT with Imran and sons Ishmam and Salfi

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