THREE power workers who were airlifted to safety after being trapped in
their vehicle for five hours in deep snow and sub-zero temper-atures were
fleeing their substation because they had run out of fuel to keep warm.

The men were working on a wind farm more than 2,000 feet up above Loch Ness.

Mountain rescue teams and a helicopter were sent on Thursday to free the
trio, who were stranded in their vehicle between the substation they were
working on and the main accommodation site below.

At a height of more than 2050ft above sea-level, Stronelairg wind farm is
one of the highest wind farms built.

Willie Anderson, leader of Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team, said the men
were freezing inside their substation because the heating generator had run
out of fuel.

He said: “There were five people inside the substation and they were pretty
cold. They had been there for something like 14 hours in total. Two of them
managed to use a skidoo (like a snowmobile) to reach the main base and
raise the alarm.

“The other three then set off in a tracked all-terrain vehicle but got
stuck in the snow drifts, which were pretty enormous. They were trapped, in
effect, inside a metal box for hours. One of the men was especially cold.
It was sub-zero outside.

“If the helicopter had not managed to get in we were facing an epic rescue.
We would have had to walk miles through huge snowdrifts in blizzards. I
don’t know what state the trapped workers would have been in.

“Where they were is 10 miles from a public road – it would have been a real
challenge to reach them, warm them up and get them to safety. They were
very fortunate the helicopter reached them when it did.”

Due to the remote location of the wind farm substation, a temporary
accommodation camp has been established on top of the mountain to house the

Cairngorm MRT headed to the trapped trio in Glen Doe, above Fort Augustus,
as well as a Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Inverness.

The helicopter winched the men to safety at 5.30pm and took them to
Inverness, to be met by an ambulance to take them to Raigmore Hospital.
Their condition is unknown but a spokeswoman for the Maritime and
Coastguard Agency said they were “very cold but stable”.

The men are all contractors working on the major 66-turbine wind farm.
Energy giant SSE won permission after a bitter battle with conservationists
for the controversial 225MW Stronelairg scheme on the Garrogie estate,
close to its Glendoe hydro electric scheme.

The three rescued men were working for contractors Siemens-BAM on behalf of
SSE’s transmissions arm – Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks.

They tried to keep warm by huddling together and periodically switching the
engine on to heat the vehicle.

A spokesman for both SSEN and the contractors said the three men had not
needed to stay in hospital after being given a medical check over.Hr said:
“They were working in a substation area and there was a fault with a
generator that provided heating. They managed to get to an adjacent
building, which did have heating. But when they tried to reach the main
accommodation block below they got stranded in their vehicle, which was

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Jamie MacMaster · February 21, 2018 at 1:01 pm

And this little story, folks, is a fitting snapshot of the limitations and silliness of the entire global alternative energy industry.

don morris · February 21, 2018 at 4:29 pm

They ran out of fuel for their generator,which provided heat for their living accommodations at an electrical generation power plant? I am confused,why didn’t they simply get their power from the site?

Btw,” Two of them
managed to use a skidoo (like a snowmobile) to reach the main base and
raise the alarm.”

The snowmobile was invented by Armand Bombardier in 1935,and his “Skidoo” was the first lightweight, invented in 1959. In Canada we still refer to all snowmobiles as a “skidoo”.

    Craig M Carmichael · February 21, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Real snowmobilers rides sleds, ski doo is a brand.

      robert quinn · February 22, 2018 at 1:47 am

      Bingo. I haven’t heard the term ‘skidoo’ used…ever.

      Steve · February 25, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      Crescent wrench is a brand. Allen key is a brand How many people refer to them as an adjustable wrench or hex key? Iconic pioneering brands are often colloquially used to refer to all subsequent versions until the origins are lost in the noise of new advertising.

    Canadian Friend · February 22, 2018 at 6:02 am

    Maybe they ran out of wind as well…hahaha!

    E · February 22, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    The site isn’t generating electricity yet, it’s aiming to be in a few weeks.

Mongo · February 21, 2018 at 9:51 pm

Rescued by a solar powered helicopter?

Frankemm · February 22, 2018 at 4:12 am

Should there not be palm trees growing in that area these days? What would Al Gore and Durwood Suzuki think of this obvious attempt to discredit their glowball warming manifesto. Seems to me that traditionally cold regions are remaining cold or getting colder,we are being lied to by enviroweenies, governments, and industry bandits that stand to make huge profits.

Alan Tomalty · February 26, 2018 at 4:35 am

supposedly they werent heating the buildings by electricity That has costs too much money these days cause the price of electricity has tripled around the world because of the greens.

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