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Tragic journalist’s family appeal to keep search charity

The family of a tragic weekly reporter, found dead after going missing while walking in the Scottish Highlands, have launched an appeal against the scrapping of a helicopter rescue team which helped search for him.

Clive Dennier, left, was found dead at the end of May, two months after his colleagues at the Strathspey & Badenoch Herald raised the alarm when he failed to show up for work.

Helicopter charity Sky Watch carried out numerous air searches during the weeks he was missing – but now, Police Scotland have decided to not to call on the squad in any efforts to trace missing people, despite the service being free of charge to the force.

One of Clive’s three sisters, Gill, told the Herald: “We find it hard to understand why Police Scotland are no longer using Sky Watch to help locate missing persons. They did so much to help in the search for Clive, in particular during that first week when the police were trying to locate his car.

“In situations like these, any assistance is vital, and a lot of the information we received initially from the police had come from Sky Watch.”

Sky Watch helped search for Clive’s VW Polo after he vanished, having left no word of his planned walking route.

That was found on March 29, four days after he was reported missing – and the choppers began sweeping the Knoydart area, continuing their search even after mountain rescue teams were officially stood down.

He was eventually spotted by a local gamekeeper, caught on trees in a river.

Another of his sisters, Alison, added: “We think Sky Watch did an amazing job trying to find our brother, and we would like to think that such a service was still available for others in the future.

“It seems an incredible decision not to use them, given that they are willing to help and would not cost the police anything.”