A COUPLE aged 70 and 71, who were stranded in their Peeblesshire home by 12ft snow drifts, have praised the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team who evacuated them.

Myra and Roger Lukehurst were rescued by the team and two police officers last Friday night, when 3.6m snow drifts left the pair, and their two dogs, trapped in their home near West Linton.

The couple had no heating after their firewood ran out and the coal shed became buried under snow.

After their rescue, they stayed with friends until returning to their home on Tuesday afternoon.

Myra told the Peeblesshire News: “I’m pleased to say that myself, Roger and our two dogs are safely back at home after being rescued last week. The main concern was for our dogs, who couldn’t go outside to go to the toilet.

“We would both like to thank the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team for their wonderful work and assistance.”

Dave Wright from Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue said: “They were quite rapidly getting into a dangerous situation without heat.

“They were perfectly alright when we got them out the house, they were a little bit surprised by how the situation escalated so quickly and I don’t think they had experienced anything like that before, but this type of weather hasn’t been seen for quite some time. We’re obviously used to working in the mountains and hills, but we haven’t seen conditions like this at ground level for a long time – it trumps 2010 and 2001 for the level of snow depth and how the drifts have been piling up.”

Dave added: “Frozen water and supplies would have been another issue and that’s why one of the messages we’re pushing out is for people to check on neighbours in rural communities, particularly the older generation.”

A total of 40 team members, all unpaid, highly-trained volunteers, are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to render assistance to lost or injured people in mountainous or remote areas.

The team is a charity and has to raise all of the funds it requires itself. It currently takes about £30,000 to cover the team’s operational expenses for one year.

To donate to Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team, visit: http://bit.ly/2Fo8XwC