Incident 24/2012

At 10.25hrs this morning the team was paged by Greater Manchester Police for assistance with a developing search for a missing 22 years old young man from the Land Gate area of Ashton in Makerfield / Wigan.

The man had been reported missing the previous evening, and GMP local searches including the use of a helicopter from the North West Air Operations Group (Police) had offered up no clues as to his whereabouts.

After gathering some initial information, our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE paged out the team at 10.52hrs and also requested assistance from our colleagues at Rossendale and Pendle MRT, Bowland Pennine MRT and SARDA.

Garry and fellow team member Steve Nelson then attended Leigh Police Station for a further briefing with a GMP Missing Person Search Manager and the local Inspector.

It was decided to establish a search control / RVP close to the missing mans home address at Land Gate, Ashton in Makerfield.

With thanks to the Park Public House (Marston’s) on Wigan Road A49, close to the M6 spur road at Junction 25, a search control was set up in the public house car park, with the Park Public House kindly offering the use of toilet facilities and supplying hot drinks to the arriving searchers, alongside full use of a large part of its car park.

GMP attempted to get a location of the missing mans mobilephone, by pinging the phone, which led to one search area being established, with other equally priority search areas also being quickly established.

With thanks to Phil O’Brien, Team Leader, Bowland Pennine MRT, attempts were also made using SARLOC to locate the missing man, but to no avail.

Search parties from Bolton MRT, Bowland Pennine MRT and Rossendale and Pendle MRT were sent out to various areas, including woodland and open water bodies in the Land Gate area, Edge Green and Bank heath / Golbourne, all commencing around 14.00hrs.

A specialist mountain rescue Trail Search Dog was also used in an attempt to track the missing mans route, whilst a mountain rescue air scenting search dog team covered other areas.

At the same time other lines of enquiry to establish the mans whereabouts were being investigated by GMP.

By 16.30hrs with no result, all the mountain rescue search areas had been concluded, and with no further intelligence to suggest at this stage any further search areas, the mountain rescue element of this missing person search operation was stood down, which following debriefing and reporting of actions to date, saw the last MRT elements leaving the search RVP at 18.00hrs.

The following resources were actually deployed to the ‘mountain rescue’ element of this search operation;

  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; Fifteen team members with one further team member stood down responding, 3x Team Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, 1x Team Minibus, Control Trailer and Catering facilities.
  • Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team; Four team members and one Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance.
  • Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team; Two team members and one Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance.
  • Search and Rescue Dog Association (Wales) Handler Iain Nicholson and Trail Dog Mij (Bowland Pennine MRT) assisted by navigator Simon Harris (Also Bowland Pennine MRT)
    Search and Rescue Dog Association (England) Handler Steve Garafalo and Air Scenting Search Dog Finn (Rossendale and Pendle MRT)
  • Greater Manchester Police; (On scene resources only reported here) Missing Person Search Manager, one Liaison Officer, Divisional Officers

Postscript; As of Wednesday mid day, we understand this man is still missing with GMP enquiries continuing.