A member of Scottish Mountain Rescue tries out one of the Thales thermal imagers

A member of Scottish Mountain Rescue tries out one of the Thales thermal imagers

Two Sophies will be helping mountain rescuers in Scotland with their future searches.

Electronics company Thales has donated two high-tech thermal-imaging cameras – named Sophie UF2 – to Scottish Mountain Rescue.

The devices were handed over to the organisation, the umbrella body for most teams north of the border, at the SMR’s national training conference.

Damon Powell and Kev Mitchell of the organisation received the thermal imagers during the gathering at Glenmore Lodge near Aviemore.

The Sophie UF2 is more commonly used by the military and similar units are used by the British Army and many others worldwide with more than 10,000 having been sold.

Thales said the infra-red sensor in the Sophie UF2 will help SMR locate a missing person, irrespective of it being day or night, by sensing their heat signature. The built-in GPS, digital compass and laser rangefinder will help provide accurate location information. The imagers are compact, lightweight, battery operated and hand-held.

Mr Powell said: “We are very grateful to Thales for this kind donation of equipment that will assist mountain rescue volunteers searching for missing persons in the wild places of Scotland and will be especially useful in the winter months, when searches frequently take place in the hours of darkness.

“These outstanding pieces of equipment are a leap forward in technology available to our teams.”

Scottish Mountain Rescue represents 24 of the 28 volunteer civilian teams in Scotland.

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