Suffolk woman dies in climbing tragedy

A WOMAN from Suffolk has died after suffering serious head injuries during a “very unlucky” fall while out climbing with friends in the Peak District.

Elliot Furniss

A WOMAN from Suffolk has died after suffering serious head injuries during a “very unlucky” fall while out climbing with friends in the Peak District.

The 32-year-old woman from Woodbridge, who has not been formally identified, is said to have been an experienced climber and was with three workmates on the trip when she fell at about 1.30pm on Saturday.

She landed on her head after falling about five metres (15ft) while leading the climb near Robin Hood's Cave on Stanage Edge, Derbyshire.

Martin Gorman, a member of the Edale Mountain Rescue Team, which responded to the emergency call, said she was not breathing when the emergency services arrived.

He said: “As far as I'm aware it was just four workmates away climbing. It wasn't a difficult route and my understanding is it should have been well within her.

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“She fell from five metres, so she wasn't very high at all - it was just a very, very bad landing. Her friends were devastated - it was very difficult for them.

“She was fortunate that there was a doctor on the scene so she had the best possible chance, in the circumstances.

“It's probably the most popular climbing crag in the country. It's not a remote crag - it's about five or six hundred metres from the road.

“Fatal accidents are very unusual. We haven't been to one for six or seven years in the Peak District. She didn't do anything wrong, she was just very, very unlucky.”

A member of the Edale team was close to the accident site and was on the scene within minutes, along with a doctor who was out walking nearby.

Fifteen more members of the team were sent to the incident as well as the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance and a land ambulance.

An RAF Sea King helicopter based at RAF Leconfield, near Hull, was also asked to respond but was stood down about halfway into its journey when it became clear it would not be needed.

The air ambulance landed two doctors and a paramedic close to the site but the woman was not breathing by the time they reached her.

Despite the “prolonged efforts” of the emergency staff and rescue team, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

A spokesman for Derbyshire Constabulary said a formal identification would take place shortly and an inquest would be opened.