Search dog Tess in action

Search dog Tess in action

A mountain rescue team has a new recruit who followed her mum and dad into the service.

Border collie Tess has become an operational member of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team after a gruelling three-day assessment in the Peak District.

The search dog comes from a family with a pedigree of service to mountain rescue. Her father Fly is with Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team and mother Bess is a member of the North of Tyne MRT. Tess’s brother Blitz has also followed the family trade and passed his assessment alongside his sister. Blitz is now an operational search and rescue dog with Bolton Mountain Rescue Team.

Dog handler Brian Allport said: “Tess is a fantastic dog, skilled in searching for missing persons.

“She is trained to detect the scent of a person and then follow that scent to its source, once located she will return to me, indicate by barking and lead me back to the lost person. Once we have the location of the missing person we can alert the rest of the team and get the missing person the help they need.”

Tess with her handler Brian Allport

Tess with her handler Brian Allport

Northumberland National Park MRT team leader Iain Nixon said: “Dogs are an integral part of mountain rescue.

“In the period 2007-2014, they found 132 missing people in England. They can search large areas of land much quicker than we humans can, especially at night when they can still use their noses and we can’t use our eyes.

“Each search dog can search an area equal to approximately 20 mountain rescue volunteers due to size of area they can cover.”

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