Underwater dog search for missing Glenrothes man

Barra, underwater search dog
Barra, underwater search dog

The family of missing Glenrothes man Allan Bryant are using the services of a specialist underwater sniffer dog in a bid to help find their son.

A springer spaniel by the name of Barra, Scotland’s only submerged human remains detection dog, was brought in the weekend before last, and will return again, to search specific locations along the River Leven, as the mystery as to his whereabouts continues.

Allan Bryant has not been seen leaving Styx nightclub in Glenrothes in the early hours of November 3, 2013.

Father of the missing man Allan Bryant Snr told the Gazette he was willing to try anything in a bid to shed light on his son’s disappearance.

“We are desperate for any glimmer of hope in the search for Allan,” explained Mr Bryant Snr.

“Every day is another day of anguish for my family, and while you worry sick that you want Allan found, we have to accept that he is now dead.

“With previous police searches unearthing nothing, we felt we had to look elsewhere for help and Barra’s underwater search skills are regarded as the best of that type in the country, so when they offered their assistance we had to take up on it.”

Barra’s owner, Iain Marshall, from K9 Search and Recovery Scotland and colleague Graham Clyde, made the journey over to Glenrothes from their base in Lass, Argyll and Bute to assist the family.

He said: “I’ve followed the family’s plight and offered our services early on and again more recently, and we were happy to come over and offer whatever assistance we could.

“We’ve now searched an area of the River Leven in Glenrothes and will be back over again when required.

“As time goes on searches get more difficult and we can’t guarantee anything, but hopefully we can help bring closure for the family.”

Barra’s skills unique in Scotland

The English springer spaniel is the only qualified underwater remains search dog in Scotland.

Barra’s initial training was a year, but as owner and K9 Search and Rescue Scotland member Iain Mitchell said, training is undertaken at least four days per week, outside of any specific search projects being undertaken.

The search and recovery outfit, based in Lass in Argyll and Bute, provide a free service relying on donations to keep operational.