Incident 42/2008

At 08:20 this morning our Team Leader Garry Rhodes was contacted by Team Leader Phil O’Brien of our colleagues at Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team who requested our team’s assistance to the BPMRT with a search in the Wheelton area of Chorley.

An 80 year old woman had gone missing just after midnight from a property in Wheelton village, sparking a major police & MRT search operation to locate her whereabouts.

Bowland Pennine team were initially called in the early hours of the morning to join initial police resources involved in the search.

Ultimately, under Bowland Pennine MRT’s control and coordination, alongside search management trained police officers, a major search operation was mounted around the Wheelton and Higher Wheelton areas.

The MRT element of the search continued until nightfall today with police operations continuing into this evening.

As we go to press at 23:00 today, the Police search operation is still continuing for this missing woman with increasing concern for her wellbeing.
Involved in today’s search operation were 26 members of Bowland Pennine MRT and 15 members of Bolton MRT, 5 members of Rossendale & Pendle MRT, SARDA dog handler Andy Colleau and major police resources including Divisional officers, Police General Purpose dog units, Traffic units POLSA’s (Police Search Advisors), and police horses.

Taking a major part in the search operation from mid morning through to mid afternoon was a Sea King search & rescue helicopter from ’C’ Flight, 22 sqn, Royal Air Force Valley, Anglesey.

The whole search operation was operated out of Lancashire Constabulary’s Wheelton police station with full catering facilities provided by Lancashire Constabulary Catering Unit.

Team members involved in this search went straight back to our team base to meet with visiting members from Bolton Lever Rotary Club and then went on to attend the team’s AGM.

Sadly on Thursday 13th March the body of this missing woman was located by Police Officers engaged in the ongoing search operation in the Heapey area, adjacent to Wheelton from where the woman went missing.