The Scouts were flown back to Sluggan Bridge near Carrbridge. Photo: Jim Bain CC-BY-SA-2.0

The Scouts were flown back to Sluggan Bridge near Carrbridge. Photo: Jim Bain CC-BY-SA-2.0

A group of Scouts was airlifted from a remote bothy after being reported missing in the Cairngorms.

The Inverness Coastguard helicopter located the eight youngsters who had taken shelter in the building beside the River Dulnain as night fell on Thursday.

Police Scotland alerted Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team and the helicopter crew flew to the area, south-west of Carrbridge.

The Coastguard crew used its infra-red thermal-imaging camera to find the group, aged between 10 and 14, who were waving and flashing lights towards the helicopter.

A Coastguard spokesperson said: “As Scouts, they were totally prepared and had lit a fire inside the bothy to keep warm, when it turned dark and the weather began to get colder.

“The Coastguard helicopter landed near the bothy and took the youngsters on a trip of a lifetime back to Sluggan Bridge where Police Scotland and the Cairngorms Mountain Rescue Team were waiting for them.

“They were given a warm welcome by their Scout friends who’d raised the alarm that they were overdue.”

Helicopter captain Simon Hammock said: “We were tasked to assist the police and Cairngorm MRT who were on scene co-ordinating the search.

“As darkness fell we were all relieved to find the group safe and well. They had travelled a significant distance across uneven ground and as the weather deteriorated had elected to seek shelter in a bothy.

“Their scouting training had been put to good use and had ultimately ensured their safety. They had a fire lit for warmth and upon hearing the helicopter signalled us by flashing lights and waving clothing.

“We landed next to the bothy and as our winchman Jon approached the group one of the smallest asked: ‘Can we have a lift’? and then quickly followed up with ‘Are we in trouble’?

“He was able to put their minds at rest and when we returned them to their camp they were met with open arms by the other Cubs and Scouts. A great result.”

Coastguard footage shows the Scouts waving to attract attention at the bothy

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police Scotland was made aware of concern for the group of eight youngsters at about 6.45pm on Thursday.

“Following search activity based on advice from local estate staff and Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team, the group, aged between 11 and 14 years old, was traced safe and well sheltering in a bothy near the River Dulnain by the crew of coastguard helicopter Rescue 951 at about 8.40pm.

“They were airlifted by the helicopter crew and returned to the rest of their party.”

Inspector Mike Middlehurst said: “This was a very well co-ordinated operation and we are very grateful to our partners, especially Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team and the local estate staff, whose local knowledge and expertise helped locate the children quickly and safely.

“The group was well equipped with maps, food and water and thankfully they did the right thing by seeking shelter in the bothy which helped with finding them.”

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