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Caithness News Bulletins July 2005

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Assynt Mountain Rescue get helped by UKAEA !

The Assynt Mountain Rescue Team have just received a donation of 200 from the Appeals and Donations Committee of UKAEA Dounreay. The Assynt MRT are very grateful to the UKAEA for their continued support. UKAEA has donated some funds towards the running of the team on numerous occasions over the past few years. UKAEA Dounreay also supports the Assynt MRT by allowing team members that work there time off to attend all outs and save lives.

The team is a registered charity (SC000505) and relies on donations and fund raising activities to keep the team going. The team has been fairly quiet during 2005 with only 3 callouts (so far) but has continued with regular team training to ensure that the team members can respond to an emergency situation should the need arise.

The three callouts that have been attended this year to date were a suicide attempt, a missing walker on Suilven, and following up a red distress flare that was spotted from Elphin. The most significant call out last year was when we assisted Dundonnel MRT search for a crashed aircraft.

The recent donation from UKAEA will go towards the running of the team and helping to ensure that effective mountain rescue cover can be provided throughout Caithness and Sutherland . Ongoing expenditure includes maintaining our emergency response vehicles, ensuring that our technical rescue equipment is safe for use (replacing equipment when necessary), providing PPE to team members, continued refresher training in first aid, etc.

The team's most recent training exercise took place at Kinlochbervie where the Stornoway Coastguard helicopter "Mike Uniform" turned up to give a safety and winch briefing to team members. This sort of training is essential because in call out situations there is no time for the crew to reiterate the safety instructions to you (unlike when you are on a commercial aircraft). The consequences of leaving a helicopter incorrectly during a callout can be fatal hence the importance of this sort of training.

After a thorough briefing from the helicopter crew, and remembering Douglas Adams' quote: "Flying is easy: just throw yourself at the
ground and miss", all of the team members present had a quick flight over Kinlochbervie and were winched out of the aircraft onto a nearby headland.

Other recent training has included communications equipment training, technical cliff rescue, winter skills, etc. If you would like to know
more about the Assynt MRT or the work of UKAEA then further information can be obtained at http://www.assynt-mrt.co.uk  or
http://www.ukaea.org.uk