Northern Ireland’s K9 Search & Rescue team has returned home from Turkey for a much-needed rest.
The Bangor-based charity saved at least one person’s life thanks to their specially-trained search dogs and handlers.
K9 Search & Rescue had two dogs and two volunteers working day and night in southern Turkey over the past week. They were part of an international team searching rubble for people buried alive following the massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria on 6th February.
The same K9 team also assisted during the Creeslough tragedy last October.
During their six day deployment in Turkey, search and rescue dogs Delta and Max, along with their handlers Ryan Gray and Kyle Murray worked nearly around the clock in a bid to search and save lives. Max and Delta, both black labrador, are trained to find live people.
During the week, the dogs indicated that people were trapped alive under a seven-story apartment block. A 42-year-old woman was later rescued after an extensive digging operation. Work is continuing at the site in a bid to establish if anyone else can be saved.
The searches took place in extremely hazardous environments, often in darkness. The team stayed in a camp, braving sub-zero temperatures each night.
Following their return home on Thursday they said: “The immediate aim now for our two Dog Handlers is to rest, manage mental health and for a vet to check over Delta and Max.”
Donations can be made to K9 Search & Rescue NI at the following links: