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Tributes to mountain rescuer who died in 1987 helicopter crash

Killin MRT leader Harry Lawrie was thrown from the aircraft as it went down on Ben More.

Harry Lawrie: Tributes paid to former rescue team leader.
Harry Lawrie: Tributes paid to former rescue team leader.

A police officer and mountain rescuer who died in a helicopter crash 30 years ago has been remembered on the anniversary of his death.

Harry Lawrie died when an RAF helicopter he was travelling in crashed on Ben More near Crianlarich during a rescue operation on February 1, 1987.

Mr Lawrie, who was the leader of Killin Mountain Rescue team, was thrown from the aircraft as it went down but everyone else aboard survived.

On Wednesday, six members of the current team gathered on the summit of nearby Ben Ledi, where Mr Lawrie's ashes were scattered.

The group, four of whom were present during the incident in 1987, were joined by Mr Lawrie's son Gordon.

Will Diamond, Police Scotland's Forth Valley mountain rescue coordinator, said: "The events of that day will never be forgotten amongst the Killin team, or others involved with search and rescue in Scotland, and they will always be remembered.

"Sergeant Lawrie tragically died doing something that he loved and, as a tribute, a memorial cross was erected on Ben Ledi by fellow team members."

Killin MRT: Team members at Harry Lawrie memorial cairn.
Killin MRT: Team members at Harry Lawrie memorial cairn. Killin MRT

Killin MRT had been called out to Balquhidder early on the afternoon of February 1, 1987, after a hillwalker collapsed and died.

They completed their mission and were preparing to return to base when they were sent to the aid of a woman who had fallen on Ben More.

Mr Lawrie and fellow police officer Ian Ramsay were collected by an RAF helicopter which would drop them off with the rest of the team.

As the aircraft attempted to land on Ben More its main rotor struck a rock, causing the helicopter to crash, catch fire and slide down the mountain.

Mr Lawrie was thrown from the helicopter and died but Mr Ramsay and the crew were rescued by members of the Killin team who entered the burning wreckage.

Mr Ramsay suffered serious injuries but made a full recovery.

Members of Killin MRT returned to Ben More the next day to retrieve the body of the fallen climber, who had also died.

"The events of that day must serve as a stark reminder to everyone of the dangers faced by those involved with mountain rescue," Mr Diamond added.

"We must also remember the impact that it has on the family and friends, as well as the local communities."

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