A TREASURE hunter who fell ill in an isolated spot on the moors above Bolton had to be rescued in a gruelling and difficult operation.

The 54-year-old man from the town suffered chest pains "in about the most remote location you can be" near Winter Hill in Rivington.

He began to feel unwell while taking part with a group in geocaching, a pastime where people use their phone or GPS device to follow co-ordinates to track down a hidden container containing a visitor's book.

Police and paramedics were called and the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team were alerted at 8.45pm yesterday.

An MRT statement said: "Team members immediately mobilised and met with other members of the casualty's group at the Winter Hill TV transmission station, along with colleagues from the North West Ambulance Service.

"The casualty's friends were initially unsure of the exact location of the unwell man, and so Sarloc Rescue, a method for locating mobile phones, was used to pinpoint his location.

"He was found to be 1km away from the nearest road, and in about the most remote location you can be, on the marshes of Rivington Moor.

"Two team members immediately set off on foot to confirm the location of the man and his companion, and they both rendered assistance whilst more team members assembled at Winter Hill."

The unwell adventurer was so remote rescuers tried to summon without success the police helicopter for help and eventually a helicopter from the coastguard at Caernarfon in Wales was scrambled at 9.20pm.

A second party of a dozen MRT team members accompanied a paramedic and an emergency medical technician from North West Ambulance Service up onto the moor with additional medical, shelter and evacuation equipment.

The patient was evacuated by air to Liverpool John Lennon Airport where the aircraft was met by an ambulance for onward transfer to hospital.

The MRT team said: "This incident was a fantastic example of team work between multiple organisations to effect a successful rescue in a remote location at night."

Garreth Collinge, a pal of the rescued man who was with him geo-caching, praised the mountain rescue team for their actions on Facebook.

He said: "Absolutely, they are the very best.

"They rescued my friend last night. What a team of professional people.

"Many thanks off us. He is home and OK thanks to you guys and the ambulance service."