Team members with the injured man during the rescue. Photo: Cairngorm MRT

Team members with the injured man during the rescue. Photo: Cairngorm MRT

Rescuers in the Cairngorms were forced to make a ‘brutal’ stretcher carry over several miles after a man suffered a serious injury in a fall.

Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team leader Willie Anderson praised a Coastguard helicopter crew who battled high winds and turbulence to help the team in an eight-hour operation in darkness.

The volunteer team members were called out on Saturday when the walker was blown over by stormy winds and fell some distance into a steep watercourse. He suffered a serious leg injury in the fall.

Mr Anderson said: “The injured walker was high in the Cairngorms, on steep ground, soaking wet, and suffering from a serious injury.

“We needed to get him to safety quickly, but the weather was deteriorating rapidly and darkness was falling.

“The party were survival-skills enthusiasts, and had done everything possible to look after themselves, but the situation was very serious.”

The Cairngorm team requested the help of the Coastguard helicopter. Mr Anderson said the aircraft battled the storm and low cloud to airlift two groups of rescuers to a position close to the injured man, but other team members had to battle their way over the summit of Cairn Gorm to reach the walker.

Coastguard footage of rescue team members being winched on to the mountains

He said: “After a brutal stretcher carry of several miles, rescuers were able to reach the stretcher party with 4×4 vehicles high in the ski area.” He added that the helicopter crew made repeated attempts, displaying remarkable flying, to try to reach the casualty site, but in the end they were defeated by the weather.

He said: “The aircraft was really being battered by the turbulence, but the crew just kept at it, trying to assist us.

“The guys put in a tough shift last night, but it could have been a lot worse. It was a great example of team work with the helicopter.”

After a prolonged eight hour rescue, the injured man was brought to a waiting ambulance. Mr Anderson said he was delighted with the outcome.

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