Soldiers thank dog for avalanche rescue

SOLDIERS from Wattisham airfield said a heartfelt thank-you today to the spaniel who saved their lives after they were swept away by an avalanche.

By Georgina James

SOLDIERS from Wattisham airfield said a heartfelt thank-you today to the spaniel who saved their lives after they were swept away by an avalanche.

The seven men from 662 Squadron of 3 Army Air Corps were reunited with their hero, Breagh, a black spaniel who rescued them after a training exercise in the Highlands almost turned to tragedy.

Six-year-old Breagh sniffed out the bodies of the colleagues of Lieutenant Jamie Murray who were buried in the snow after the accident in the Cairngorm mountains.

She licked their faces and Lt Murray dug them out and gave them first aid before an RAF helicopter came to the rescue.

Lt Murray said: "We're obviously very pleased to be back safely in Wattisham. Luckily none of us has any serious lasting injuries. One soldier is still on crutches, but otherwise we're all back at work."

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Lt Murray and his seven colleagues were doing adventure training on Coire an Lochan when the avalanche hit them . The soldiers were stuck in the snow for three hours before being airlifted off the mountain.

Twenty members of three mountain rescue teams and two helicopters were sent to the scene and five men where taken to hospital .

Lt Murray said: "We'd like to thank all of the groups that helped rescue us from the mountain – the search and rescue squadron from RAF Lossiemouth, the RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue, the Inverness Air Ambulance and especially the Glenmore Lodge and Cairngorm Mountain Rescue teams."

The rescue teams were alerted after one of the 25 Suffolk soldiers in the group used his mobile telephone to contact emergency services.

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