The Guardia Civil Mountain Rescue unit, Sereim, is busy all year round; in summer just as much as winter, rescuing people in the Sierra Nevada area. They were called out four times in just one July weekend.
The first call-out occurred on Saturday morning at 10.40h – a woman had fallen down a slope, bouncing off rocks on her way to the bottom. This happened near the Veleta Peak at around 3,200 metres. She was an experienced mountain climber but had tried to cross an extensive patch of remaining snow without crampons. Down she slid, some 100 metres.
The Guardia Civil arrived, immobilized her neck, back and left leg, then carried her to a piece of flat land where their helicopter was waiting to take her to hospital.
That same afternoon they were called out to rescue a hiker who had taken a tumble down a steep ravine in an area known as Camino de Timar, which lies within the municipality of Cádiar. Sereim, backed up by the Guardia Civil units stationed at Cádiar, Urgíjar and Bérchules set up a search operation for him, joined by family and neighbours of the man.
The hiker, a 55-year-old British resident of Bérchules, had fallen down the steep sides of this narrow ravine when the rock that he was using as a foothold gave way under his weight. But that particular rock had it in for him because the bloody thing landed on his leg, fracturing it. Fortunately, it didn’t know that he had a mobile on him otherwise that would have gone for a Burton as well.
The fourth call-out was for a woman who had come a cropper at the Junta de Los Ríos above Otívar and then, finally, on Sunday came the big one; a group of nine walkers, six of whom were deaf-mutes and one of them was sight-impaired as well.
Sereim had received a call at 14.45h to say that the group was exhausted and dehydrated whilst out on an excursion, along the Camino de la Umbría in the municipality of Monachil. However, a normal Guardia Civil patrol was sent out, as the terrain did not offer any difficulties for a normal 4×4 patrol vehicle.
Have a heart, next time you are contemplating throwing yourself down a mountain, for the Sereim, who are out there with snow up to their ears in the winter and plagued by flies and mad tourists during the summer.
(News: Alpujarra, Granada, Andalucia)