I am very lucky that I have met some really great and good people in my life and Mountain Rescue has been full of such people. Many are well-known and the majority are unassuming and just kind caring people who shun the limelight and just get on with the task. My friend and Team Leader of Torridon & Kinlochewe Mountain Rescue Team Eoghain MacLean is one of these. He is retiring as the Team Leader of Torridon Mountain Rescue Team after 40 years with Mountain Rescue. He is such a fine example of the best in Mountain Rescue and the people of Scotland. I was lucky to meet him many years ago with the Breamar Mountain Rescue Team and through my work with the RAF Mountain Rescue and the ARCC and finally as a member of the Torridon Team. He was the man you met on a callout and on the hill always very laid back but incredibly powerful. When he became Team Leader and called for assistance of a helicopter or to ask for more manpower he was always completely at ease with the situation and a great man to work with. There was never any panic just a Highland “lilt” which brought an ease to any situation. There were never any egos and all that mattered was the casualty and the team’s safety. Too me he was always the great professional and always willing to talk things through but he also had a steely determination that when he did speak out all listened. The dedication and commitment of the man is incredible and the area the Torridon Team cover is one of the most impressive and difficult mountain areas in this wonderful land. How many times has Eoghain been on rescues in all weathers in these Torridon giants and how many casualties and relatives have met this outstanding man and been comforted by him and his team. These mountains take no prisoners, they are a very difficult area to work in and Eoghain leaves a great legacy within the team. Many times a small party are dropped off on these wild ridges or carry out rescues on these Torridon giants few stories are ever told of the epic rescues and situations the team finds itself in. His sacrifice over the years has been incredible and at one time his family had 3 members Eoghain and his two sons in the Torridon team, He is also a very lucky man as he has been supported by his family and especially his lovely wife Susan who waited through the long nights and days as only a mother and wife can. Many of us forget the support we get and no matter what our families say they do worry for us all but still give us all the support we need especially after a big call – out. I am sure Eoghain and Susan will enjoy his retirement from Mountain Rescue and he will have more time for his family and his love of the wild places and its animals. He is an outstanding photographer and is so wise in so many aspects of this great area, he will be a busy man. I am sure he will be out enjoying life without the worry of a callout or rescue.
This is from the Torridon and Kinlochewe website:
“Torridon MRT team leader Eoghain Maclean officially retired tonight after 40 years in MRT. He will miss MRT as it has been a massive part of his life. He has some epic story’s to tell, his deputy leader Arjan takes over as team leader and we wish Arjan well and very much look forward to working under him. We thank Eoghain for his commitment and dedication to MRT over the many years and wish him and Susan a long and happy retirement. All the best “Torridon Eoghain” and thank you!”
Well Eoghain maybe we can get a day out now with you and Susan and you can show me the secrets of your wonderful Torridon area and all the things I missed in the past. Thanks for all you have done for us all. I am sure when the first callout comes after you retire it will be a strange feeling but sit back and enjoy retirement you deserve it. I am sure that your son Ryan will continue the MacLean tradition and dedication to the Torridon & Kinlochewe Mountain Rescue Team.
Looking back on these wild free days in the mountains. I realize that many of my happiest memories are of a sunrise on the mountains after getting a casualty and my team safely and successfully off a big mountain. Only a few can say these words – see you soon!
Thanks from all of us.