Searchers find missing woman

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Local mountain rescue personnel aided by a Royal Navy helicopter saved a missing woman’s life after finding her unconscious in freezing conditions near Innerleithen last night (Wednesday).

It was dog handler John Romanes and three-year-old search and rescue dog, Rauour, from the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team, who made the crucial discovery following a three-hour search.

The team had been called out at 5pm to help in the search for the woman, described as a vulnerable person by Police Scotland.

With a Met Office amber warning in force for snow, the team mobilised immediately and began to search the woodland and hills around the town.

Despite atrocious blizzard conditions, Rescue 177, a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from HMS Gannet, was also scrambled and used its infrared camera to assist in the search.

Three hours into the search and Rauour found the casualty, who was unconscious, about 10 metres off a forest track on Pirn Craig.

MRT members had already walked the track but because of the woman’s dark clothing and distance into the woodland it was Rauour’s sensitive nose which located her.

Due to the remote location and condition of the casualty, Rescue 177 assisted in the evacuation by airlifting the woman to hospital.

Last night MRT Deputy Team Leader Dave Wright praised John and Rauour: “As well as being a committed member of Tweed Valley MRT, John undertakes a vast amount of additional training with Rauour.

“It goes without saying that this training has paid off when we are able to locate a casualty quickly and ensure that they receive the appropriate medical care.”

“The conditions were pretty bad with strong winds and driving snow – it’s a safe to say that the combined efforts of John and Rauour, Tweed Valley MRT, Police and the Royal Navy saved the woman’s life.”