Highlands & Islands

Lost scouts found sheltering in Cairngorms bothy

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Media captionThe scouts were found by a Coastguard helicopter crew after they waved and flashed lights

Eight scouts were rescued by helicopter after taking a wrong turn while trekking in the Cairngorms.

The group of boys and girls, aged between 11 and 14, were reported missing after failing to return to the Carrbridge area.

A Coastguard helicopter found the group waving and flashing lights at a remote bothy.

As the helicopter crew approached them, one of the group asked: "Are we in trouble."

The scouts were on a practice hike for an award, with adult supervisors waiting for them to return.

When the got lost, they made their way to a remote bothy on the River Dulnain, seven miles from their original camp at Sluggan Bridge.

They had lit a fire inside the building to keep warm when it turned dark and the weather began to get colder.

'Well equipped'

Aircraft captain Simon Hammock said: "They had travelled a significant distance across uneven ground, and as the weather deteriorated had elected to seek shelter in a bothy.

"Their scouting training had been put to good use and had ultimately ensured their safety."

He added: "When we returned them to their camp they were met with open arms by the other cubs and scouts. A great result."

The scouts were airlifted back to Sluggan Bridge.

The alarm had been raised by the rest of the group at about 18:45 when they failed to return and they were found at about 20:40.

Insp Mike Middlehurst, of Police Scotland, said: "This was a very well co-ordinated operation and we are very grateful to our partners, especially Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team and the local estate staff, whose local knowledge and expertise helped locate the children quickly and safely.

"The group was well equipped with maps, food and water and thankfully they did the right thing by seeking shelter in the bothy which helped with finding them."

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