TRAGEDY: Pendle mountain rescue dog helps in Scottish avalanche search

Finn the search dog from the Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team has been helping out in Scotland after a tragedy, along with his handler Steve Garofalo.

Steve and Finn (S)
Steve and Finn (S)

They were training in Scotland with the Search and Rescue Dogs Association when the avalanche tragedy happened on Thursday last week around 12-30pm.

They were asked to be part of the search and rescue team and were then airlifted to the site at the Chalamain Gap. This is another example of how your local team helps the emergency services nationally as well as covering the 350 square miles of East Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

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Team leader Pete Goble said: “We wear the emblem of Mountain Rescue and train to a standard that allows us to be able to operate in these hostile places, even though as a lowland rescue team we don’t have these specific risks, we regularly visit these places to hone our skills and test ourselves.

“Our team members can be deployed to assist anywhere in the UK whatever the weather – day or night with minimal supervision. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those affected by this tragic incident.”

Two RAF helicopters joined members of the Cairngorm and RAF Lossiemouth Mountain Rescue Teams in the rescue operation, which also included members of the Search and Rescue Dogs Association.

Three people were buried in the avalanche in the area between the Cairngorm mountain ski area and the Lairig Ghru pass known as the Chalamin Gap. Police have confirmed that all three died of the injuries sustained in the avalanche.

One of the three people who died after the avalanche has been named as Squadron Leader Rimon Than of RAF Valley North Wales. He was a member of the RAF Mountaineering Association.

Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team is a registered charity (Number 508209) made up entirely of volunteers. They are called out through the 999 system and carry out search and rescue duties over 350 square miles of East Lancashire, Pendle, Rossendale and parts of Greater Manchester.

Team leader Peter said: “We are called out by and work alongside Lancashire Constabulary, Greater Manchester Police, North West Ambulance Service, and Lancashire and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Services, as well as helping out neighbouring teams as requested.

“If you are interested in learning more about the team, please visit the website If you have an interest in the outdoors and would like to help, then RPMRT will be recruiting this month. Please look at the website for more information.”