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Helicopter search at Tentsmuir Forest for missing Leuchars woman

17.09.15 - pictured is the car park at the Forestry Commission Tentsmuir Forest, Tentsmuir which is to be closed to vehicles in high winds due to the risk of falling trees
17.09.15 - pictured is the car park at the Forestry Commission Tentsmuir Forest, Tentsmuir which is to be closed to vehicles in high winds due to the risk of falling trees

A major search operation is under way in a bid to trace a missing Fife dog walker.

A search helicopter was joined by lifeboat and coastguard crews after Maureen Bannister from Leuchars was reported missing at the weekend.

The 43-year-old has not been seen or heard from since around 2pm on Sunday when she left an address in Pitcairn Park in a blue Ford Focus with her dog, a black/grey cross breed Yorkshire Terrier.

The search has focused on the Tentsmuir Forest area, where she is known to regularly walk her pet.

A specialist dog unit has also been sent to the scene.

Inspector Paul Dick of Police Scotland said: “Our search for Maureen has been under way since around 1am this morning but unfortunately we have not yet located her.

“We are extremely concerned for her welfare as are her family who are desperate to find her safe and well.

“Today, I’m appealing to anyone who may have seen Maureen or even spoke with her, to come forward to police immediately.”

Maureen used to work at the Scottish SPCA’s centre at Petterden but left recently to begin a college course.

However, staff at the centre near Dundee did not wish to comment when contact by The Courier.

As well as a search helicopter, two lifeboats from Broughty Ferry have been searching the Fife coastline, while coastguard teams from Carnoustie, St Andrews and Montrose descended on the Fife beauty spot.

Maureen is described as around 5ft 4in, with a slim build and has long dark hair.

It is not known what she was wearing at the time of her disappearance, however, it is likely she will have on navy Wellington boots and a navy thigh length jacket with a cream lined hood.

Anybody with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 or speak to any officer.

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