Ace to the rescue

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 11 October 2021

A five-month-old trainee mountain rescue search dog has had his first taste of life on the front line.

Ace, a border collie “adopted” by the Evening Chronicle, was on a dog training exercise with his trainer Rick Beswick and members of Oldham Mountain Rescue Team in the Dovestones area.

Sharp-eyed Rick spotted lights signalling and shouts for help coming from the top of local iconic landmark, Indians Head.

Rick and his puppy trainee made their way up the hill while other team members were called out.

Four members of the public had become disoriented and stuck on the rocks at the top of Rams Clough.

They had been caught out by the darker nights and, with only a phone light between them, were unsure of the route down.

After establishing that there were no injuries, they were led off the hill by Ace, being met by the extra team members along the way.

Once back down at Chew Bridge, the casualties were checked over and given some advice before being dropped back at the car park.

Said Rick: “Although he’s not an official search dog yet and is only just starting his training, this was Ace’s first taste of a rescue.

“I was very impressed with him and said he’s having a steak for tea.”

OMRT leader Rob Tortoiseshell said: “If you are venturing out ito the hills, be aware days are rapidly getting shorter.

“Plan your route, tell someone where you're going, take a torch with extra batteries, fully charge your phone and carry some spare clothing.

“No one goes out expecting to be rescued, but it pays to be prepared in case the worst happens.”

Seven OMRT personnel were involved for 45 minutes.

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