Tayside and Central Scotland

Navy helicopter rescues couple from icy Aberfoyle road

Duke's Pass
Image caption The couple became stranded on Duke's Pass near Aberfoyle due to the icy conditions on the road

A Royal Navy helicopter has had to rescue two people from their car after they became stranded on a road in the Trossachs due to ice.

The man and woman became trapped after the car began slipping near the Loch Achray Hotel in Aberfoyle on Sunday.

Following a call to Central Scotland Police, the HMS Gannet-based helicopter was dispatched at 09:28.

The pair were found on Duke's Pass at about 10:00 and taken by helicopter to Loch Achray Hotel unharmed.

The rescue team were able to find the stranded couple quickly as it was the only vehicle on the isolated road.

Slippery conditions

HMS Gannet Commanding Officer Lt Cdr Andy Drodge said: "The surface of the road was almost completely covered in ice. We managed to get in quite close and land on the road to drop off our aircrewman Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Dave Rigg, but we had to take off again to find a more level landing area.

"Dave, along with two police officers who were already on scene, walked down the road to get to the two people from their car - and in that short distance he slipped over three times.

"After circling, we found a good flat landing spot a bit further away and Dave and the police escorted the couple up the road using the grass verge for some extra grip."

However, the Navy said that finding the couple was not their only challenge.

Icy road

The rescue team had difficulty getting the two onto the helicopter ramp because of the icy road.

CPO Rigg said: "It was like an ice rink under foot. It was so dangerous that we made the decision to actually winch the two motorists into the helicopter while we were still on the ground.

"It was extremely unusual, but we feared that having them on the ice any longer than necessary could possibly lead to injury.

"I have never in all my 18 years' aviation experience winched someone into the helicopter while we were actually fully landed on the ground - that's how bad it was."

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