The two rescuers with Nell,, safely back at base. Photo: Alison Smith

The two rescuers with Nell,, safely back at base. Photo: Alison Smith

Mountain rescuers used a novel addition to their usual equipment in a successful search in the remote north-west Highlands.

Two Dundonnell team members used a disposable barbecue, sausages and bacon to lure their subject who had gone missing at the weekend.

Alison Smith and Rachel Drummond mounted their hunt for border collie Nell, who had been spooked by a rescue helicopter in a previous incident.

Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team had been called out on Sunday when two ultra-marathon runners were reported overdue in the Fisherfield Forest area of Wester Ross. The Inverness Coastguard helicopter also joined the search for the runners who were found suffering from mild hypothermia and airlifted from a position near Loch an Nid.

A team spokesperson said: “During the rescue a border collie called Nell, owned by one of the men, took fright at the helicopter, ran off into the night and was not seen again by Dundonnell MRT members who were in the area. Nell’s owners subsequently publicised her loss via social media.”

The following day, the two off-duty rescue team members decided to walk their dogs in the area where Nell had last been seen, hoping to find her.

The spokesperson said: “In addition to winter mountaineering kit, they were also equipped with a disposable barbecue, some sausages and bacon.

“Having walked to the vicinity of Loch an Nid they fired up the barbecue and soon had sausages and bacon sizzling. The desired effect was soon achieved: a confused and anxious border collie appeared on the horizon, on a rocky hillside.

“Having been lured closer by the smell of food, a nervous Nell was eventually secured and after a picnic lunch, she and her rescuers walked the five miles back to the roadside.

“Nell, who appears to have survived her ordeal in good shape, was later re-united with her worried owners at Dundonnell MRTs local base.”

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