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Swollen river forces overdue walkers to spend night on the hill

A swollen river forced two walkers into an overnight stay on a Highland hill with a multi-agency rescue operation launched in a bid to retrieve the missing people.

Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) were joined in the search by Coastguard search and rescue helicopter Rescue 951, based at Inverness Airport, as first reports of the incident on Garbh-allt River were received at 9pm on Saturday evening.

The Dundonnell MRT spent the duration of the night trying to trace the two missing persons and conduct an evacuation mission from the dangerous conditions in which they had found themselves.

Attempts were successful to locate the missing duo, however, the swollen river made access difficult with the team standing by to provide assistance as soon as conditions allowed.

In an online post, Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team said: “We are pleased to report that shortly before 7:30 am some team members were able to cross the swollen river and meet up with the overdue walkers.

“Thanks to HMCG Helicopter from Inverness for their assistance in lifting us off the hill and back to the Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team base, at Dundonnell. Everyone was off the hill by 9:30 am. The two overdue walkers are safe and well despite being out on the hill for the past 24 hours.”

Video footage shared by Dundonnell MRT shows the harrowing conditions the team faced, as rain and wind lashed and the river can be seen producing a heavy flow making access nearly impossible.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokeswoman said: “The Coastguard helicopter based at Inverness arrived on scene at 0750 this morning and recovered the walkers, the dropped them off at Dundonnell at approximately 09.00.”

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