Donald MacRae, who is stepping down as leader of Dundonnell MRT

Donald MacRae, who is stepping down as leader of Dundonnell MRT

The leader of Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team has announced he is stepping down from the post.

Donald MacRae has been a member of the team for more than 30 years.

Mr MacRae paid tribute to his colleagues and said he will continue to play an active role with the team, which covers a large area of Wester Ross.

He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as team leader, but I believe it is vital to the success of the organisation that we provide leadership opportunities to others.

“We have an amazing pool of talent within the team and this has made my job as leader so much easier.

“I want to publicly thank everyone in the team for willingly giving up their time to support our work. It’s been a busy year with almost 3,000 rescue hours, covering a range of rescues, from those fallen in the mountains, to extensive searches for missing people.

“A very much invisible element of our work is the immense training we undertake every year to ensure that we can deliver a first-class service. This year, this amounts to almost 5,000 training hours, all willingly undertaken and all voluntary.”

The team has been called out to five fatal incidents in the past year, and also undertook repeated extensive searches for missing walker Martin Rhodes.

Mr MacRae said: “Everything we do is centred on providing a better service to those in need. At times we need to deliver this service in very challenging circumstances. I want to take a moment to remember those families who we have supported following the loss of a loved one. Sadly, this year we have had five fatalities in the mountains.

“During my time as team leader I have taken on a lead role in developing wellbeing support for all our members.

“Folk may not be aware that we work on behalf of Police Scotland, in providing a search and rescue service. I want to thank all the officers for all their support. Over the years, we have built strong relationships leading to highly effective partnership working, providing better outcomes for the public.

“I have had the pleasure of being in Dundonnell MRT for over 30 years. I look forward to continuing an active role within the team and nationally. I know that while I may be stepping down, I have every confidence in the successive leadership team.”

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