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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Mountain rescue heroes: we need more help

This news post is over 8 years old

As a foolhardy climber is rescued in the teeth of Storm Abigail, mountain rescuers call for more support

A mountain rescue team made a desperate plea for more resources just after completing a heroic operation in the teeth of Storm Abigail.

Volunteers braved the worst weather of the year to save the life of a climber who attempted a notoriously difficult section of Ben Nevis.

He was injured on Thursday after ignoring weather warnings and attempting an ascent via the Observatory gully – an approach difficult even in perfect conditions.

A post on Lochaber Mountain Rescue’s Facebook page, published straight after the rescue, outlined how cash-strapped the life-saving charity is – complaining of poor equipment and demanding more support for the group’s work.

Our team members and families should at least have insurance that is fit for purpose

The post stated: “Troops have just returned from the eye of hurricane ‪#‎abigail rescuing a hill walker attempting ‪#‎bennevis via observatory gully. On the scale of difficulty this route is certain death!

“The casualty was found high on a snow slope with chest injuries and lowered down to the ‪#‎CIC hut. We are so poor we had to dress the casualty in a ‪#‎englishMRjacket. Here he was properly checked over and then taken down the rest of the way by the ‪#‎polaris bikes. A very difficult rescue in atrocious weather with a very good outcome.

“The ‪#‎volunteers go out in these conditions without hesitation. Leaving family and loved ones behind. Radios are poor and insurance is completely inadequate. Let's have some support ‪#‎scottishgovernment ‪#‎policescotland ‪#‎SMR please!

“Our team members and families should at least have insurance that is fit for purpose.”

Mountain rescue teams, which are made up of volunteers, cannot get the same insurance deals that police officers get and have been campaigning for parity.

On the back of Thursday’s rescue, Lochaber Mountain Rescue appealed for donations via its website.