Incident 90/2008

This evening the Team was called out at 18:22 by GMP for assistance in an urgent search in the Hindley area of Wigan.

The search involved a missing 64 year old Hindley woman in circumstances giving police concern for her wellbeing.

A large search operation had commenced on the afternoon of today involving police officers, a police dog team, GMP mounted section, and the air support unit helicopter, but with a negative search and the onset of early evening the resources of our team were required.

Given the nature of the search area, including open land, wood land, disused railway lines, canals and small lakes we decided to also call on our colleagues in Cheshire Lowland Search and Rescue Team (with whom we have developed an excellent working relationship).

A request was also made for the involvement of the GMFRS USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) Dog Team (who conducts much training alongside our trainee search dog assets).

Another request was made for the specialist involvement of the trailing dog team from Bowland Pennine MRT (handler Iain Nicholson).

With all the above assets in place the MR and LSAR search operation went into full swing under a search plan devised and coordinated by the Bolton MRT.

These assets continued to operate alongside GMP assets with much help from local people.

Shortly after the initial deployment of the BPMRT trailing dog at circa 21:57 hours this dog indicated on a roadside patch of thick undergrowth, which upon investigation revealed the missing person in a cold, dazed and bewildered state, but otherwise ok.

An ambulance was immediately called with the woman involved being taken to hospital.

All search assets were stood down with some Bolton assets being the last to leave the Hindley RVP at 23:15.

Total resources involved in this aspect of the search included Bolton MRT 27 members and a further 2 stood down responding (inclusive of our control trailer, catering unit and canoe search unit). Cheshire Lowland Search & Rescue team 10 members, Bowland Pennine MRT trailing dog team, handler Iain Nicholson, navigator Simon Harris and dog Mij. GMFRS USAR dog unit handler Mike Dewar and dog Echo, GMP mounted (3 horses), 1 general purpose dog team, circa 15 police officers and PCSOs and a GMP missing person search manager.

This search had an excellent outcome and represented the second live find for Iain Nicholson and dog Mij (dog Mij is one of only 2 trained trailing dogs available to MR search assets nationally).

This was an excellent cooperative search involving many unique assets and organisations which all led to a successful outcome.

The team would like to express its thanks to all the residents of Longton Street, Hindley who put up with major disruption to their quiet Thursday evening with their quiet residential road taken over completely by all the above assets mentioned.