A BORDERS-BASED mountain rescue charity is looking for new recruits in Peebles and Innerleithen after experiencing the busiest year in its history.

And the team was called out to an Edinburgh reservoir on Boxing Day after a hill walker suffered a cardiac arrest.

The 75-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a Police Scotland spokesperson.

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That callout was one of the 83 taken on by the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue team so far in 2021.

On the past year, team leader Paul Cathrow said: “As 2021 draws to close, we can reflect on what has been the busiest year in the history of Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue team. We have completed 80 callouts so far this year (with 10 days still to go), this is nearly double the number of callouts in 2020.

“Callouts have resulted in 2,238 volunteer hours spent on finding, treating, and evacuating casualties throughout our patch.

“Of course, for every hour spent on callouts, there are as many spent on all of the behind-the-scenes work required to run a large, busy mountain rescue team.”

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He added: “2022 looks very likely to be just as busy. To support with this, we have decided to increase the team membership and, early in the new year, we will undertake a recruitment exercise to take on probationers who are local to Peebles/Innerleithen/Galashiels/Melrose areas.

“If this is of interest to you, please do not get in touch yet but, instead, keep an eye on our social media feeds during January when we will release further details of the application process.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the team members, their families and employers whose patience, understanding and commitment make it possible for us to provide the high-quality service we do.

“I would also like to extend thanks to our supporters and donors whose ongoing commitment to the team is essential.”

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The team was called out in the early hours of Christmas Day to help with the search for a missing man, who was located safe and well.

Volunteers also stepped up on the following two days to assist with separate incidents. On Boxing Day, the team was called to help in an evacuation mission near Torduff Reservoir.

Sadly, the 75-year-old died from a heart attack.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were called around 3.15pm on Sunday, December 26, to a report of a man taking ill near Torduff Reservoir, Edinburgh. The 75-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. There are no suspicious circumstances and, as with all sudden deaths, a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”