I know this may seem an unusually miserable or mean spirited post and I should point out that I'm delighted that a cute wee dog has been rescued from the Cairngorms and that I've started a new post deliberately so as not to cast any gloom on that achievement and people's happiness...( you can see it coming can't you?) but ...
Is it only me who finds it slightly jarring that this (privatised?) service has managed to secure charming video of this rescue but declines to participate in recovery of bodies after the acute stage of a rescue or to lift MRT members from the hill as a default?
I agree with your general sentiment Andrew but the comments below the article in Grough about prioritisation do seem to hold water
also - in the case of the dog, it seems that the helicopter was in the area anyway on training - and presumably this represented an ideal "live" training opportunity. the situation would be different I think if the helicopter had been mobilised specifically for a dog - but I don't think that is what happened here?
Sales and marketing because I wondered if the dog rescue had been filmed and disseminated consciously to display this service in a favourable light without acknowledging the controversial aspects of their provision.
I suspect all operational manoeuvres are recorded, I doubt they decided to hit record just because it was deemed to be a useful a PR charm offensive. As for rescuing it, the helicopter was in the area on other exercises and the ideal opportunity for some 'live' training presented itself. It's no different to firemen rescuing horses from holes etc.. people may scoff, but the life experience is much greater than anything a set up training exercise can offer.
Thank you. I suppose these are hugely nuanced contexts. It just seemed to be self consciously pushing precisely the kind of opiate (as in Marx's "opium of the people") that the 21st century seems so susceptible to .
Though had the dog jumped to its death due to being scarred witless by the helicopter hovering overhead, I doubt the footage would have been released.
Was it as spontaneous as the MCA press release suggests. The dawg was widely reported on social media as being 'stuck' including a pretty good location description. So I suspect the crew knew it was there, and deliberately went looking, whether they were sanctioned to from management for the PR value as part of the training, or whether they did it adhoc to fill the time while waiting to go back and pick up the crew members who were training on the ground we will never know. It did undoubtedly provided a very good search training target; ?lack of accurate grid, interpretation/matching location description to crag features while on the move with no comm's feed back/directions available from the caz location, done from a different perspective from where the location description was written, followed by visual and thermal search, for a small immobile caz half covered in snow, with limited colour/shape contrast, similar in size to a young child. The imaging capabilities are pretty bloody impressive....... if that dog had stayed quiet you or I could have climbed the adjacent gully and not even known it was there, so to my untrained eye a good 'spot', and good training. During part of the day there were two sets of training going on simultaneously caz care and air to ground comm's, and search practice in the air.....so I think we got excellent value for society's tax contributions.
I would like to think if the dawg had started to look like it might jump the crew would have stood-off, got a 10 or 12 figure grid and passed it on to Cairngorm MRT, who could have got it on foot (if they so chose to), but given away the lions share of the 'glory' from the MCA/crew. In retrospect that probably would have been the more sensible option....... discuss?
I agree with you the SAR helicopters are being 'milked' for all the good PR the MCA can get, but that is no different to what the RN / RAF used to do. The MCA press office however are more inclined to try and get a safety message in at the same time. With regard to the bust up over non caz extraction flying, it should be a relatively simple thing to sort (or have now been sorted)....though yes it should have been sorted a long time ago and before it got to public whingeing.
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