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Lincolnshire dad lives to tell tale of 100ft fall from mountain in Lake District

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

  • Branston Cricket Club chairman Pete Flint slipped and fell from Swirral Edge, on Helvellyn in the Lake District

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A sportsman is making a miracle recovery after breaking his neck and back in a 100ft fall from a mountain in the Lake District.

Doctors have told Pete Flint, 60, from Branston, he is so lucky to be alive he should buy a lottery ticket.

He slipped and fell from Swirral Edge, on Helvellyn – England's third highest peak at 3,117ft – on Saturday.

The married dad-of-two broke his neck, his back in three places and several ribs in the incident while trekking with daughter Rosie. After a daring helicopter rescue, the Branston Cricket Club chairman was flown to hospital and endured a 14-hour operation.

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Amazingly, doctors at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary expect him back on his feet within days.

Friend and cricket club captain John Stephenson, 41, who serves in the Royal Navy, said: "The doctors have said Pete really should go and buy a lottery ticket as soon as he comes out. They say the fall should have killed him and his injuries should have left him paralysed.

"It was just shock and horror knowing that someone you know as a close personal friend and a fast opening bowler was lying in a hospital bed fighting for his life, and so the latest news is amazing."

Patterdale Mountain Rescue team, two passing members of Penrith Mountain Rescue, the Great North Air Ambulance and a Sea King helicopter from Royal Naval Air Station Gannet at RAF Prestwick, Scotland, attended the incident.

But the location and low cloud prevented either aircraft from directly evacuating Mr Flint.

Instead, mountain rescuers lowered him several hundred metres down a loose gravel slope so that the Sea King helicopter could fly in below the cloud and winch the stretcher.

"The family wishes to thank the RAF, the Royal Navy and all the rescuers and doctors who helped save his life," said Mr Stephenson.

"We at the club are planning a charity cricket match next summer."

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