Rescue team flooded with call-outs

Published: 20 Jul 2012 09:30

BORDERS rescue team is called into action after a popular picnic spot is washed away.

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A PICNIC panic saw local volunteers from Borders Search and Rescue kick start one of its busiest spells of the year.

The team already have a demanding schedule over the June weekends with local rideouts and sporting events.

But last weekend they also faced a race against time to rescue a stranded family at a local beauty spot.

Rising river levels on the Whiteadder had cut off the picnic area at Cranshaws, near Duns.

The family had been camping at the site, which sits south of a reservoir.

Damon Rodwell from Borders Search and Rescue told the Border Telegraph: "Quickly-rising water had inundated the site where the family had spent the night camping. When they woke they found themselves on an island surrounded by a thigh-deep moat.

"The team was able to tow the vehicle and the family to the safety and relative dryness of higher ground."

As well as being on stand-by for the Jedburgh Festival, the Search and Rescue Unit was called away just a few hours later after a lone walker had become bogged down on the Penine Way.

The 50-year-old woman was approaching the end of the 300 mile walk when she contacted her husband by text message to alert him that she was struggling with the unexpectedly boggy conditions.

Mr Rodwell added: "Having complained that she was stuck in a bog, the walker then lost contact, either due to a dead phone battery or a hole in the network coverage, and her husband was sufficiently concerned to raise the alarm.

"Working on a worst-case scenario, we calculated where she would have reached by the time she sent her final message, while the Northumberland team, assuming the best-case scenario, started their search about ten miles further along the route.

"The sodden ground meant that even the specially-equipped Landrovers couldn't tackle the steeper ground, and the 14 volunteers who had answered the call had a good stiff hike in to reach the search area. The hiker was located, unharmed but bedraggled, by the Northumberland team."

Borders Search and Rescue is funded by public donations.

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