Scientist rescued in Russia after SOS call picked up in Scotland

September 7th, 2008 - 11:46 am ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 7 (IANS) A British scientist who broke her leg after falling from her horse in a remote nature park in Russia has been airlifted to safety after her distress call was picked up by Scottish rescuers, some 3,700 miles away from the accident site.Kimberley Warren, 20, a biology researcher in Nottingham University, injured herself severely after she fell off her horse during a research trip in the Kamchatka region in Russia’s far east region Friday. But she was airlifted to safety following a dramatic international rescue effort coordinated from a Royal Air Force (RAF) base in Moray in northeast Scotland, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Warren was part of a group of nine people, including Russian scientists and four British nationals, studying the forests of the Bystrinsky Nature Park in the eastern Russian province.

After completing the research project, the team had embarked on an exploration trip in the mountainous region when Warren was thrown from her horse, according to the newspaper.

Unable to move, Warren set off an emergency distress beacon, which was picked by a satellite and transmitted to RAF in Moray on the other side of the globe.

The controllers at the base managed to identify the beacon’s owner as Markus Eichhorn, an ecology lecturer from Nottingham University who was leading the expedition in Russia.

RAF Corporal Keri Richmond, the duty mission controller, immediately contacted Russian authorities, some 3,700 miles away, who launched a search operation and rescued Warren from the park, which is only accessible on horseback or by helicopter.

She was initially taken to a clinic in the nearby village of Esso before being flown on to hospital in the provincial capital Petropavlovsk.

A spokesman for Nottingham University said: “Kimberley is safe and, while her injuries are likely to be uncomfortable, they are not life-threatening.”

RAF’s Flight Sergeant Tim Dickinson, who coordinated the rescue operation from Scotland, said that the incident “highlighted the benefits of advanced technology and the importance of adventurers planning ahead”.

“The rescue was carried out quite literally on the other side of the world,” he said. “It’s great to know that search and rescue has no boundaries.”

Describing her daughter a brave and adventurous one, Warren’s mother Elizabeth Warren said: “It’s confirmed to her that this is what she wants to do with her life. As parents, all we want to do is get her home and give her a big hug,” she said.

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