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Novice wildfowlers rescued by helicopter from mudflats

Two novice wildfowlers had to be rescued by helicopter after becoming trapped on mudflats at Munlochy Bay in the Highlands.

The Black Isle & Mid Ross Wildfowlers Club members managed to dial 999 at around 9.20am.

Aberdeen Coastguard said the rising tide was above their waists by the time they arrived at around 10am.

The Dornoch Coastguard specialist mud team along with Inverness and Portmahomack rescue teams were also sent to the area with a Sea King helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth and Kessock Lifeboat team.

A 58 year old man and a 15 year old boy were winched to shore.

Fiona Hastie, watch manager at Aberdeen Coastguard, said: ?The tide came in rapidly. Though pulling people out of the mud is not the best way to extract them, in this case, if the helicopter had not arrived when it did, the outcome could have been very different.?

The wildfowling club?s Major James Grant saw the rescue take place.

?They were visibly shocked by what had happened. They are both very new to shooting and had only been out wildfowling three or four times before. This has been a sharp learning curve for both of them. We are hoping to take them out wildfowling on the mudflats again soon.?

Major Grant added: ?We have a code of conduct and brief our club members about the mudflats and tide. The trouble is that Munlochy Bay is quite treacherous in places. The mud can be deceiving, and if you are relatively inexperienced, as these people were, you can make mistakes. If you are new to the bay you may not realise what the dangers are until you get into them.?

BASC?s Simon Clarke pointed out every club has a responsibility to brief members on safety.

?Every wildfowler knows that the foreshore can be a treacherous place. That?s why each club has a careful induction process. It is important people follow that process very carefully and do not try to venture out before they know the ground and its hazards and are used to the tides. As well as local inductions at club level, people can contact BASC Scotland, which runs a number of wildfowling courses for adults and Young Shots that cover safety aspects.?

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