The lost weather balloon was recovered by a member of Aberdeen MRT

The lost weather balloon was recovered by a member of Aberdeen MRT

Two mountain rescue teams co-operated on an unusual mission: the rescue of a balloon.

A weather balloon packed with equipment went missing after being launched by school students in the Highlands, and a plea went out to help find the missing inflatable.

Members of Alness Academy’s Geoscience Club launched the balloon from Aviemore Primary School to collect data from the atmosphere.

A Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team spokesperson said: “The balloon was crammed packed with data loggers, cameras and a GPS tracker.

“Two hours later the balloon landed, but while the group had a grid reference of the landing site near Easter Echt in Aberdeenshire, the balloon could not be found.

“On hearing of the missing balloon, Donald MacRae, guidance teacher in Alness Academy and team leader of Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team, contacted his counterpart in Aberdeen MRT, Scott Stevens, to ask for help.”

The balloon was discovered dangling from a tree

The balloon was discovered dangling from a tree

Aberdeen team members carried out a search of a forest and found the balloon hanging from a tree, 30ft above the ground. The Dundonnell MRT spokesperson said: “Aberdeen MRT then called upon one of their team members who happened to be a tree surgeon.

“The balloon was eventually extracted and returned to Alness Academy.”

Data downloaded showed that the balloon reached a height of 71,000ft (21,640m) before descending back to Earth.

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