Page last updated at 09:04 GMT, Thursday, 24 December 2009

RAF rescuers to spend festive season in mountain bothy

Hundreds of people are expected to head for the hills over Christmas

Members of RAF Leuchars' mountain rescue team are to spend Christmas and New Year on stand-by in a mountain bothy.

The 26 rescuers will sacrifice festivities with their families to be based near Newtonmore in the Cairngorms National Park.

Hundreds of climbers are expected to use the Christmas and New Year break to tackle Scotland's highest peaks.

The rescue unit usually responds to emergencies from Leuchars in Fife.

The team said it would be ready to help those who may become injured or lost.

The unit's primary role is to search for, and rescue, survivors of downed aircraft.

This year the Leuchars team has been called to 21 incidents.

On Christmas Day the most senior officer on the team will be responsible for cooking dinner.

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