Incident 25/2006

Lancashire Constabulary paged the team at 10:00 this morning regards assistance with a person believed missing in the Western part of the West Pennine Moors. As this area covers the operational boundaries of both our team and our colleagues at Bowland Pennine MRT, both teams were called to the search.

The missing person was a 23 year old very experienced local fell runner who also had a long established background in mountain biking and local hillwalking. The missing man also regularly went fell running in the evening.

He had been reported missing in the early hours of this morning and initial police enquiries led the search effort to being concentrated on the corridor from White Coppice to Great Hill (and on to Darwen Tower), Redmonds & Spitlers Edge, Hordern Stoops to Winter Hill summit, and then a variety of routes on Rivington Moor and Wilders Moor, down through the Terraced Gardens and into Lever Park and along the Rivington reservoir system onto Healey Nab.

Lancashire Constabulary deployed its Air Support Unit, police horse teams, divisional resources and search managers with 19 BPMRT members and 25 BMRT members attending, including our search dog Chi & trainee trail dog Sniff.

Poor visibility due to misty weather and very icy underfoot conditions. combined with very cold temperatures made for uncomfortable search conditions.

With the conclusion of the search effort on the White Coppice/Anglezarke moorland block and the Winter Hill moorland block, the dual MRT controls and RVP points (BPMRT at White Coppice, and BMRT at Hordern Stoops) were due to move to start a late afternoon/early evening comprehensive search of the Healey Nab area when news was received that the missing person was actually in the Blackburn area.

At 16:40, with the confirmation of this, the extensive daytime search, which had also included local fulltime United Utilities rangers and the ready assistance and observations of the many hillwalkers and fellrunners out on the moors, was stood down.

As with incident 22/2006, in the Eccleston area of Chorley, and our albeit limited participation in the joint exercise of Saturday 28th January, and our joint response to incident 23/2006 of Sunday 29th January, this incident yet again demonstrated the excellent cooperation and liaison we enjoy with our colleagues in Bowland Pennine MRT.