Incident 21/2008

At 13:10 today with the prior knowledge by NWAS (Lancashire Area) that a small number of team members were in team vehicles in the Rivington and Belmont areas, the team was requested by NWAS (LA) to respond to a report of a body having been found in Anglezarke Reservoir.

The North West Air Ambulance, Helimed 08, had already been despatched to this incident which arose when some fishermen reported a body in the water which was then apparently brought partly onto the banking by some passing walkers.

Anglezarke Reservoir lies within the primary operational area of our colleagues in Bowland Pennine MRT. Our TL Garry Rhodes liaised directly with the TL of BPMRT, Phil O’Brien, regarding this incident and with the knowledge that Lancashire Fire & Rescue and Lancashire Constabulary resources were also mobilising to this incident, it was decided that the small number of BMRT members already responding should continue their response and report back to Phil O’Brien if any further assistance was required.

At 13:20, six Bolton MRT members in three vehicles arrived at the Moor Road RVP on the extreme Northern embankment of Anglezarke Reservoir, meeting the first responding Fire crew and Police officers.

Shortly afterwards, further Fire resources arrived, including their Water Incident Unit.

The scene of vehicles assembled for this incident

Once the location of the deceased male at the water’s edge was determined (the bankside in the vicinity of Grey Heights Wood), two Bolton MRT members went to the scene along with Police officers to determine what was required.

At this stage, our Deputy Leader, who lives on the edge of the Rivington area, and is a white water kayaker, arrived with canoes.

It was decided that the man’s body would be evacuated utilising the LFRS small inflatable boat, which was launched from the Moor Road embankment.

The body was recovered in the boat back to Moor Road and passed into the care of undertakers at 15:53.

LFRS water rescue crews recovered the man’s body to the embankment at Moor Road

Resources involved in this incident included 8 Bolton MRT personnel in 3 team vehicles, an NWAS (Lancashire Area) Rapid Response Vehicle, North West Air Ambulance Helimed 08, single pump ladder appliances from LFRS Preston, Penwortham and Chorley Fire Stations (The Preston & Penwortham pump crews were swift-water rescue technician trained). The Major Incident Support Unit from Preston Fire Station also attended (de-mountable body containing water rescue boats), along with Police divisional resources including local officers, a duty inspector, CID personnel, and a two person CSI team.

This was an excellent example of all the services involved working together to conclude the incident.

(Our colleagues at Bowland Pennine MRT had been involved in a search in mid-January also involving SARDA resources for a missing person in this same general location.)