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Fife survivalist sparks ‘brutal’ mountain rescue

The "brutal" rescue operation
The "brutal" rescue operation

A Fife survival enthusiast made a desperate dash for help after his brother was blown down a gully in the Cairngorms.

Coastguard helicopter flies in gale force winds to deliver Mou…

Last Saturday evening, the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Inverness flew in gale force winds of up to 50 miles an hour and experienced heavy turbulence to airlift the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team to rescue a fallen walker at Loch Avon, Scotland. The Coastguard helicopter was called in to assist just after 5.30pm and attempted to fly as close possible to the stricken casualty and his walking partner. The walker, who was in a party of two, had fallen about 40ft and suffered a serious leg fracture which needed urgent medical attention.Gale force winds, heavy turbulence, poor visibility and low cloud cover meant that the helicopter was restricted to flying the Mountain Rescue Team about 1/2km from the location of the casualty. The helicopter then made its way back to Glenmore Lodge to refuel and proceeded to wait for a break in the weather and a better opportunity to assist in the rescue. Despite the weather conditions, the casualty was in safe hands after the Coastguard airlifted the 9 strong Mountain Rescue Team – three of whom were doctors. They worked in difficult weather conditions to stabilise the casualty and prepared to take him to safety. The Mountain Rescue team then made a remarkable 2km journey on foot as they stretchered the casualty to the Cairngorms Ski Centre where he was met by a waiting ambulance.

Posted by Maritime and Coastguard Agency on Monday, 30 October 2017

The man was rescued after being blown over by storms in what was described as “brutal” eight hour rescue on Saturday.

Eighteen members of Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team, including three doctors, were called to Coire Raibert in the Northern Cairngorms after the man’s brother pulled him from a river and then raised the alarm.

The Inverness-based Coastguard search and rescue helicopter battled fierce storms but was unable to reach the injured man.

Willie Anderson, team leader of Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team said, it was a “full on rescue.”

The group took it in turns to stretcher the injured 49-year-old man from Glasgow more than two miles over rough terrain.

No details of the brothers have been released, other than that they are in their 40s and experienced mountaineers.

Looking down Coire Raibert, where the accident happened

Mr Anderson said: “He was with his brother who was from Fife and they were planning to spend the night on the hills as part of survival skills training.

“The wind blew one of the brothers down the gully and he ended up in the river. We don’t know exactly how far he fell but he had a nasty open fracture on his leg.

“There was no mobile phone signal where they were so his brother ran to somewhere where he could raise the alarm. He had managed to pull his brother out of the river.

“They were well equipped for their night out but the conditions caught them out. The wind was strong and then the mist and cloud came in.

“It was a difficult rescue but it is what we train for. We got back at 2am – it was a long job but a fantastic team effort. The team did a tremendous job.”

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