Incident 48/2012

At 17:35 early this evening, our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE was in conversation with Mick Nield, Team Leader at Oldham MRT regarding a developing search in Heaton Park, Manchester, in connection with a missing young man. Colleagues from Rossendale and Pendle MRT had already been placed on standby by Oldham MRT and it was decided to also place the Bolton MRT on standby to possibly assist in this search.

Chris Brahney, aged 22, from Timperley, was last seen by friends around 23:30 on Friday night, 29th June, in Heaton Park, where he was attending the first of three Stone Roses concerts at the venue.

At the end of the concert he had become separated from his friends, and was subsequently reported missing.

With growing concern to establish his whereabouts, Greater Manchester Police requested that mountain rescue undertake a thorough search of the very extensive grounds of Heaton Park.

Oldham MRT assessed the search areas and very quickly called out RPMRT and ourselves to assist, with a full team call out page being made at 18.11hrs for our members to initially rendezvous at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ to travel to the search RVP in team vehicles.

By 19.50hrs most of our responding members had arrived at the search control point set up by GMP / Oldham MRT at the Lake / Sheepfoot Lane Car Park within Heaton Park.

We joined other MRTs and SARDA assets in a large scale search of the parkland, woods, ravines, and gardens of Heaton Park.

We were tasked with clearing the area immediately around the stage compound area, (Which was still in place from the concert) and checking the many ditches, dense shrub thickets and pockets of woodland encircling the boundary of the south west part of the park.

Our part of the search operation commenced at 20.15hrs, completing at 21.55hrs.

Within our search area we located personal effects and footwear, none of which was deemed to belong to the missing person. (We also ‘discovered’ a man sleeping ‘rough’ in woodland)
By circa 22.30hrs most searchers present had completed their areas, with the Bolton MRT leaving for home at 22.36hrs.

GMP enquiries and specific search operations are continuing to try and locate this missing young man, with searches of water bodies within the park taking place we understand on Tuesday 3rd July 2012.

The following resources were deployed and engaged on this search operation;

  • Oldham Mountain Rescue Team.
  • Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; Four Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances and our Minibus, with twenty three team call out list members present.
  • Heaton Park Ranger Service.
  • Greater Manchester Police; Missing Person Search Manager and CID Officers.
  • Search and Rescue Dog Association (England); Five Search Dog Teams, from MRTs within the MPSRO and PDMRO regional mountain rescue organisation areas.
  • North West Air Operations Group (Police) Helicopter Air Support Unit (GMP)