Search & Rescue help police with Heather search

TEAMS from Borders Search and Rescue and Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue were called in to help with the continuing search for missing West Lothian woman Heather McKay at the weekend.

Heather, 51, was last seen in the Dechmont area of Livingstone on August 25, and after nine days, with fears for Heather’s safety mounting, Lothian and Borders Police requested the assistance of two local Search and Rescue teams.

Six members from BSARU and five from Tweed Valley, along with specialist dog-handlers and the Borders Under-water Search Team covered a large area of mixed woodland, waste-ground and waterways in and around Livingstone on Sunday September 2.

No trace of Heather was found, and the following day, seven members of BSARU, one from TVMRT and a dog-handler were back in the area continuing the hunt.

This year’s exceptionally wet summer and the resulting has had a dramatic affect on vegetation, and conditions for the search are among the most difficult the teams have had to deal with for a long time.

The forest floors were a mass of tangled brambles and sodden fallen timber, and even the more open areas of wasteland, which would usually be relatively straight-forward presented the teams with a head-high jungle of nettles, thistles, rye-grass and willow-herb.

In the circumstances, police declared themselves delighted with the teams’ achievements in eliminating a larger area from their enquiries than had been expected.

Anyone with information as to Heather’s whereabouts are asked to contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131.