Burley-in-Wharfedale’s Lucky Luke’s great escape

A relieved climbing instructor from Burley-in-Wharfedale is warning of the importance of wearing protective gear, following a lucky escape after falling almost 30 feet from a cliff face.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 2:01 pm
Experienced climber, Luke Dowling, highlights the importance of wearing protective gear after falling almost 30 feet from a cliff face

The warning was broadcast in the first of the new series of Helicopter ER.

Experienced climber, Luke Dowling, aged 28, was out climbing the Cow and Calf in Ilkley on his birthday, when he slipped.

Lucky escape for Luke Dowling

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“I was climbing with one of my friends, he was ahead of me and I remember being in an uncomfortable position and slipping. I can’t remember anything else until I came round on the ground, it seemed fairly fast until the helicopter landed”, said Luke.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s Critical Care Team, comprising of two paramedics and a consultant were dispatched to Luke’s aid to assess his injuries, alongside the Yorkshire HART team and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

After initially being taken to Airedale Hospital for tests, Luke was later transferred to Leeds General Infirmary after it was confirmed that he had fractured two bones in his neck and one in his spine ,which required specialist surgery at the Major Trauma Centre

“Up until the point they gave me the results of the scan, I was ready to walk out of hospital the same day, I didn’t feel any pain. I told them that I had a table booked for my birthday,” said Luke.

He spent six days in hospital and had three months off work. Despite his injuries being serious, he knows that it could have been worse.

Luke is now back climbing. Since returning to work, he is using his experience to warn other climbers to keep wearing their helmets.

Luke warned others to wear their protective gear: “It’s probably down to a bit of complacency and bad luck, I think that’s where it went wrong.”