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10th Feb 2023

Dog rescue team that aided at Creeslough en route to Turkey/Syria earthquake zone

Fiona Frawley

a black labrador, working as a search and rescue dog

Northern Ireland’s K9 Search & Rescue team have been deployed to the earthquake disaster zone in Turkey/Syria.

The dogs and professionals who assisted rescue teams following the Creeslough tragedy will travel to Turkey today, to search for survivors following the violent earthquakes that struck the area this week.

7.8 magnitude earthquakes in southern and central Turkey and northern and western Syria have resulted in at least 21,719 deaths, with at least 373,780 people displaced and 24M people people affected.

It’s feared that many more survivors are still buried under rubble across southern Turkey and northern Syria.

Bangor-based charity K9 Search and Rescue will send personnel and two dogs to assist with the search this weekend.

Speaking to Donegal Daily, charity founder Ryan Gray says the team have been preparing for deployment since they heard the news of the earthquake this Monday.

“This is what we train for. The dogs we are sending are USAR dogs (Urban Search and Rescue) and specialise in detecting people in collapsed building structures. We are privileged to be asked to help in the rescue of survivors and hope we can reunite families with their loved ones. We will certainly do our very best while there.”

Search labradors Max and Delta have been involved in recent high profile searches in Creeslough and although this most recent call is on a much larger scale, Ryan is confident the highly trained dogs are well able to help.

“We will fly to Turkey on Friday with the dogs via Dublin airport but really have no idea of the scale of devastation we will face upon arrival. We will get straight to work, knowing this search and rescue mission is time sensitive and every minute that passes can be the difference between life and death.”

As a self funded charity, K9 Search and Rescue NI have also appealed for donations to enable them to stay in the area “as long as it takes to complete this search and rescue”.

Donations can be made HERE.

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