Rescuers searched throughout the night for the missing walkers. Photo: Cairngorm MRT

Rescuers searched throughout the night for the missing walkers. Photo: Cairngorm MRT

Rescuers searching for two lost walkers in the Cairngorms had to help two different people to safety after coming across them during their search.

Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team was called out on Thursday evening during a training exercise.

Two walkers were reported missing in poor weather and failing light on Braeriach.

The team was involved in an eight-hour overnight operation to find the original missing pair and was joined by Braemar and Aberdeen MRTs and the RAF Mountain Rescue Service when the hunt for the walkers resumed at dawn on Friday.

A Cairngorm MRT spokesperson said: “The team thought the training officers had pulled out all the stops to offer a realistic training exercise when they were told they had minutes to get ready for helicopter uplift to deploy in the last light on Braeriach.

“But it was the real thing, with two wet, cold walkers needing help, having become lost in the cloud somewhere on the high plateau.”

The search for the missing walkers began about 7pm after team members were airlifted to the site by a Coastguard helicopter whose crew carried out ‘some impressive flying’.

The spokesperson said: “The team quickly came across two lost walkers who were very cold and needed assistance to get off the hill. The problem was that these were two other walkers in trouble, not the one’s we had set out to find.

“We evacuated them by helicopter.

“After a tough night of searching, we returned the team to base and, thanks to great support from the helicopter crew, most were able to get to bed by 3am, ready for a resumed search at 6.30am this morning with Braemar and RAF joining us.”

The two missing walkers who sparked the search were found about 9.30am on Friday.

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