Incident 22/2009

At 15.53hrs this afternoon the team was paged by a GMP Missing Person Search Manager regards a missing woman in the Hindley area of Wigan, in circumstances giving the Police cause for concern regards her welfare.

A Police search operation including officers and the GMP Air Support Unit helicopter was gearing up and the team was asked to be available if the immediate search area under consideration proved negetive.

By late afternoon the initial search efforts by the Police had not located the woman, and the teams assistance was therefore required to cover a very large amount of nearby open land, woodlands, stream courses, ponds and a lake.
The subject of this search had actually been the subject of a similar search by the team in September 11th 2008 (see Incident 90/2008) and so the search areas were known to the team.

Due to the large areas concerned our colleagues in Rossendale and Pendle MRT were called to assist alongside Cheshire Lowland Search and Rescue Team.
We also called in Iain Nicholson from Bowland Pennine MRT and his specially trained trail dog ’Mij’ who readers may recall found this missing woman on the search back in September last year.

The ensueing large search operation was co ordinated and contolled by the Bolton MRT, with us also providing full catering for all involved from our Catering Trailer. (its first ’operational incident’ use since purchase)
The first search parties were deployed at 20.08hrs with the last searchers returning to the search control / RVP at 23.39hrs.

The scene of the search RVP in Hindley

Unfortunately the search drew a blank, and as all the tired searchers returned home Police enquiries continued to try and establish the womans whereabouts.

The following assets were utilised in the evening search;

  • Bolton MRT, 27x Call Out list members and two members of our Support Group providing catering support. (29x Bolton MRT members in total)
  • Rossendale and Pendle MRT, 14x team members.
  • Cheshire Lowland Search and Rescue Team, 10x members including one of their Lowland Search and Rescue Dog Teams, handler Dominique Shrubb and Dog Tess.
  • Bowland Pennine MRT / SARDA (Wales) trail dog team, handler Iain Nicholson and Dog Mij.
  • Bowland Pennine MRT / SARDA (England) search dog team, handler Alison Nicholson and Dog Floss.
  • Bowland Pennine MRT member Simon Harris, acting as ’navigator’ to handler Iain Nicholson.
  • GMP Missing Person Search Managers, 2x.

The team would like to place on record thanks to the residents of Longton Street, Hindley, Wigan, for the inconvenience they put up with when their entire street was ’ taken over ’ by all the resources utilised in this search operation, and a special thankyou to the resident of Nr 20, who kindly offered the use of her bathroom and toilet facilities to the searchers involved.

Postscript; On the morning of Tuesday 24th February, the team was asked to be available for the continuation of this search operation, commencing in the evening taking over from Police search efforts planned for the day. Again our team requested the support of Rossendale and Pendle MRT and Cheshire LSART. (all three teams being placed on standby for the evenings planned search operation)

Just after lunchtime all were stood down when GMP located the missing woman in the central Hindley area, safe, and outside the search areas from the previous evening.