Lincolnshire Firefighters and Rescue Dog Aid in Devastating Morocco Earthquake Aftermath


Four intrepid firefighters from Lincolnshire along with an invaluable rescue dog named Colin have embarked on a mission to lend their efforts to a contingency of 60 British rescuers in Morocco. They have committed to staying within the affected area until their assistance is no longer required, following the devastating earthquake in the nation that has claimed more than 2,900 lives, marking it as the deadliest the country has experienced in six decades.

The four-man team and their dependable canine colleague became part of the UK International Search and Rescue Team (UKISAR) earlier this week, asserting their position in the frontline of the rescue operations. Firefighter Karl Keuneke, usually stationed at Lincoln South fire station, confirmed that despite the wide-spread devastation, the team is still locating survivors.

Together with fellow firefighters Darren Burchnall, Ben Clarke, Neil Woodmansey, and of course, rescue dog Colin, the Lincolnshire team is part of a larger UKISAR force. This 60-strong assembly comprises of firefighters from 14 various UK fire departments and has been immersed in providing medical care for the injured and searching for survivors encased in the remains of collapsed buildings.

The epicenter of the calamitous earthquake was identified in the High Atlas Mountains, only 71km (44 miles) from Marrakesh. The areas suffering the most severe impacts are the isolated towns and villages distanced from the capital. Keuneke revealed that their base is situated at the foothills of the mountains and the team has to voyage for several hours in order to reach the portions where individuals remain trapped.

Keuneke conveyed the simultaneity of their mission’s urgency and hope with a statement that rescue teams were continuously discovering survivors, suggesting that there was still an opportunity for more lives to be saved. Meanwhile, the calamity’s enormous scale emerged vividly before their very eyes, as they witnessed total devastation in the hardest-hit areas.

Keuneke described the situation as surreal and considerably contrasted with the team’s usual circumstances and experiences. He reflected on the extensive training the team underwent before being deployed, but conceded that the reality exceeded the realm of their familiarity. Nevertheless, he affirmed their unrelenting commitment to aid the victims, stating that as long as they could provide help, they would remain at the site.


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