RAF Valley man named as Highlands avalanche victim

Reporter:

Staff reporter

RAF Valley Squadron Leader Rimon Than, 33, was killed in the avalanche
in the Chalamain Gap area of the Cairngorms, Scotland, which struck yesterday (Thursday)

All immediate next of kin have been identified.

Two groups of climbers were in the area at the time on opposite sides of the gorge at the time of theavalanche .

One group was part of a Glenmore Lodge organised winter skills training course and the second was a separate group comprising off duty RAF personnel who were climbing in the area.

At around 12:30pm an avalanche occurred in the area and three people, two from the RAF and one from the Glenmore team were caught up in the avalanche.

The search got underway very quickly and mountain rescue teams from Cairngorm, Glenmore and Lossiemouth were joined by SARDA Dogs Scotland, Lake District SARDA Dogs training in the area, members of Cairngorm Mountain Ski Patrol and rescue helicopters One Three Seven and One Three Eight. The Scottish Ambulance Service’s air ambulance was also in attendance.

Once the casualties were located they were all airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where they were sadly pronounced dead.

Area Inspector, Murdoch MacLeod, said: "Clearly this is a very tragic incident and our thoughts are currently with the families of those who have lost their lives.

"It is important that we pay tribute to work of the rescuers who responded extremely quickly to the incident and located all three climbers in a short space of time.

"All three were airlifted to Aberdeen, but sadly they died as a result of their injuries."

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