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‘I can’t thank them enough’: Mountain rescue team praised for helping couple with broken ankles

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A health worker who fell 50ft in the Cairngorms has praised the mountain rescue teams who came to her rescue.

Lauren Birnie and Glen Ainslie both broke their right ankles after slipping on muddy ground before rolling and hitting rocks while climbing Glas Maol, near Glenshee.

The couple, who are from Aberdeen, immediately called for help after falling down the slope on Sunday.

Both needed overnight stays in hospital and operations following the accident in the hills.

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‘One gave me his own jacket to keep warm’

Ms Birnie has praised two walkers who waited with them until the Braemar Mountain Rescue Team arrived as well as the work the emergency crew did to get them medical help.

She said: “The walkers waited with us for an hour or so until help arrived, even then they stuck around, they must have been so cold.

“The mountain rescue team was so reassuring straight away and instantly put me at ease, I was panicking and shivering and one of the lovely team members gave me his own jacket to keep warm.

“They stabilised my ankle and gave me pain relief whilst chatting away to me and keeping me laughing.

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“They checked me out for other injuries and I told them straight away that I am type-one diabetic on insulin and they were very vigilant of that, making sure I was ok at all times.”

The couple were stabilised at the scene before being lifted onto stretchers and taken into the mountain rescue car and off Glas Maol.

They were then handed over to the waiting ambulances before being taken to hospital in Aberdeen, where Ms Birnie works as a biomedical scientist.

Complex rescue operation

About 25 members of the Braemar Mountain Rescue Team were involved in the operation to get them off the hill.

The couple began hillwalking last year but have enjoyed it more in recent months in the better weather while aiming to climb a few Munros every month.

Walkers during the rescue operation at Glas Maol. Photo: Braemar MRT.

Both were able to raise the alarm after falling while in the hills to ensure they could get medical assistance by calling 112 for mountain recue.

Ms Birnie added: “It’s the first time we have needed them. I really cannot thank them enough.

“I wasn’t aware that they were volunteers as well, which just makes it even more amazing how efficient and friendly they were.

“It just goes to show how important the job they do is, absolutely amazing.”

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