Incident 81/2010

At circa 12.30hrs today, an abandoned mountain bike along with some associated articles, was discovered by the Manchester City Council, Gorton South, Park Warden, immediately alongside the stream that flows through Sunny Brow Park, Gorton, Manchester.

The stream was in full spate as a result of very heavy and prolonged recent rainfall, and the circumstances of the ’find’ led to the Park Warden contacting Greater Manchester Police.

GMP concerned at the possibility that someone may have fallen in to the stream course, commenced a search of the stream, which resulted in a pager call to our team at 13.45hrs requesting our assistance alongside our specialist resources.

Following discussions between our Team Leader and the GMP Chief Inspector involved in this investigation, a full team call out was paged at 13.52hrs, entailing the call out of the teams integral water team, boat and other members.

Arriving on scene at 14.34hrs our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, joined by our Deputy Team Leader Geoff Seddon at 14.40hrs liaised with Police Officers and quickly formulated a search plan to carry on from the initial Police operation in Sunny Brow Park, Gorton.

It was also decided to search the stream resurgence, beyond a culverted section immediately after ’leaving’ Sunny Brow Park, here the stream becomes the Gore Brook in the area of Nutsford Vale, with the stream itself set in part in a very steep sided valley section with access difficulties.

Four members of our water team searched the stream course in Sunny Brow Park joined by two small parties of team members searching the banksides. (All our members having team personal issue PFDs on – Personal Floatation Devices / Life jackets)

Other appropriately equipped team members were involved in a search of the Gore Brook / Nutsford Vale area, working alongside GMP Officers.

Two Environment Agency Officers were also called in to the search operation, giving valuable advice on weir locations and other likely entrapment areas.

By circa 17.30hrs all areas that GMP required searching had been completed, and with no person reported missing at this stage to the Police, the search was stood down.

Thankfully the mornings very heavy rain stayed off during our search with the stream level falling quickly to its more usual flow rate as the search progressed.

The following resources were known to be involved in this search operation:

  • Greater Manchester Police: Divisional resources, Missing Person Search Managers and a Tactical Aid Unit.
  • Environment Agency: Two Officers.
  • Manchester City Council: Gorton South Park Warden and Council Security Patrols.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team: 23x Team Call Out List members on scene and 1x Team call Out List member stood down responding. (Inclusive of four of our water team members) Four Team Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles, our Control Trailer and our 3.5m semi rigid inflatable SAR boat. (Which was not actually used in this operation)

The team would like to express its thanks to the nearby Debdale Park McDonalds Restaurant, who provided discounted meals and drinks for the team members involved in this search, (as they also kindly did in June 2009 during another search in the area – see website news article Incident 40-2009, 4th June 2009)

The team would also like to thank the residents of Brookhurst Road immediately alongside Sunny Brow Park, for putting up with the team ’taking over’ their quiet street for a few hours this Sunday afternoon.