John Romanes and Rauour

John Romanes and Rauour. Photo: Tweed Valley MRT

A rookie search dog and his handler helped save the life of a woman who had gone missing in the Scottish Borders.

Rauour and his owner John Romanes found the unconscious woman when they joined colleagues from the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team in blizzard conditions on Wednesday night.

Rescuers were called out at 5pm to search for the missing woman in the Innerleithen area.

Deputy team leader Dave Wright said: “With a Met Office amber warning in force for snow, the team mobilised immediately and began to search the woodland and hills around the Borders town.

“Despite the 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 Rauour found the casualty, who was unconscious, about 10m off a forest track.

“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 the woman.”

It was the three-year-old dog’s first casualty find.

The Royal Navy Sea King flew the woman to hospital. Photo: Tweed Valley MRT

The Royal Navy Sea King flew the woman to hospital. Photo: Tweed Valley MRT

The Royal Navy helicopter then airlifted the woman from the remote location to hospital.

Mr Wright said: “As well as being a committed member of Tweed Valley MRT, John undertakes a vast amount of additional SARDA 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 safe to say that the combined efforts of John and Rauour, Tweed Valley MRT, police and the Royal Navy saved the woman’s life.”

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