Sandy Seabrook Lomond MRT – sad news.

My friend Bob Sharp passed me on the sad news that Sandy Seabrook Lomond MRT had passed away. Sandy was a stalwart of Mountain Rescue and will be sadly missed. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the Lomond Mountain Rescue Team.

Bob Sharp wrote “ To let you know that Sandy Seabrook passed away earlier today. Sandy was Team Leader of Lomond for 25 years, with a rich background in SARDA and the Devon Cave Rescue Organisation. Sandy was 85 years of age and had not been well for a long time but was still interested in MR and keen to know what was happening in the World of MR. He even acquired a Collie pup last year (but not to train!).”

Attached photo taken almost 40 years ago shows Sandy and Sir Hugh Fraser in the middle flanked on the left by team members Bill Cameron and Fergus Ewing, and on the right by team member Dick Jackson

Lomond Mrt

Sandy Seabrook RIP
As with many things in life, it often takes the initiative of a single person to kick-start an organisation or stimulate change. In the case of the Lomond Mountain Rescue Team, that person was Sandy Seabrook. In the late 1960s, Sandy was an outdoor instructor at Montrose House in Balmaha. Sandy’s background in education, mountain rescue and the military was to prove an essential platform for the new team. After leaving school, Sandy spent twelve years in the British Army stationed variously in Plymouth, Catterick and Carlisle. He later trained as a primary school teacher and worked as an instructor at Garelochhead Outdoor Centre. Subsequently, he worked as a teacher at Ballikinrain ‘List D’ school near Fintry (a residential school for young people experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties) and later established his own private outdoor pursuits business (‘Highland Pursuits’). When he retired as an Army Sergeant in early 1967, he moved to Scotland to take up a position as the Warden of Montrose House in Balmaha. Montrose House (then a listed period mansion building) was owned by the Glasgow Union of Boys Clubs. Along with one other instructor – Alex McFarlane – Sandy provided short courses in various outdoor pursuits for members of Glasgow Boys Clubs.
Sandy had already been involved in mountain rescue having helped establish the Devon Cave Rescue Organisation. In the mid 1960s, he worked with Hamish MacInnes and Hamish’s plans to create what was to become the Search and Rescue Dog Association. Sandy was on the first experimental course in Glencoe in 1964 and then became the first person in England to qualify in 1967 as a SAR dog handler with his German Shepherd Dog Rory.
Once the team was founded, Sandy went to extraordinary lengths to publicise the team and its capabilities through numerous talks, presentations and displays. Most important, he forged excellent relationships with the local press to ensure maximum publicity for the team’s training and rescues. Photographs of team members featured regularly in the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald, Glasgow Herald and Falkirk Herald. Without his trailblazing efforts on the PR and fundraising fronts, the team would have been much the poorer and may even have died an early death.
Sandy also established a strong presence at national level and was a tough advocate for change and development on numerous matters – radio communications, the use of helicopters and insurance. In addition, he furthered the work of Ben Humble (MRCofS Statistician for several decades) through the promotion of mountain safety and delivery of courses in mountaineering.

Sandy was a people person, self-effacing and team-spirited with an unfailing enthusiasm for all things to do with mountain rescue at both local and national levels. In 2000, he was awarded the national organisation’s Distinguished Service Award for his contribution to Scottish Mountain Rescue.
Sandy was a unique spirit that we may never see the likes of again. Bob Sharp.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Mountain rescue, Mountaineering, People, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

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