Incident 59/2012

At 09.25hrs this morning, we were contacted via SARCALL and pager by Lancashire Constabulary, to further assist in the continuation of the search of this morning for a missing 59 year old Blackburn man.

With the main focus of the search operation likely to be to the south of the A675 Belmont Road, the request was passed after liaison with the (Police) Missing Person Search Manager by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE to Bowland Pennine MRT. (Who have operational responsibility to the south of the A675 in this area)

Following an update by our Team Leader to Phil O’Brien, Team Leader of BPMRT as to the search of the early morning, it was decided that both teams would respond, and by 10.48hrs the full team was paged to assist Bowland Pennine MRT.

Once again our specialist Mountain Rescue Trailing Search Dog was utilised, alongside an Air Scenting Search dog from the Bowland Pennine MRT.

Lancashire Constabulary Officers concentrated their search effort around the shores and adjacent woodlands of Rake Brook Reservoir, the search dogs and BPMRT personnel concentrated their search efforts again around the former nearby quarry, now a Christmas Tree Nursery, whilst a small Bolton MRT party deployed to another quarry and associated water body close to where the missing mans car had been located. (Thanks to BPMRT member Paul Durham for finding some personal kit lost during the early morning search by Bolton MRT member Steve Fletcher)

Once more a Police helicopter also joined in the search, the third time such had been deployed in the search for this missing man.

Bowland Pennine MRT co-ordinated the search effort, from a Search RVP once again set up in the car park of the Hare and Hounds Public House, Abbey Village.

At circa 13.10hrs the sad news was received that a Police search party had located the body of the missing man in woodland to the south east shore of Rake Brook Reservoir within Roddlesworth Number 2 Plantation.

With very heavy rain showers now developing, both MRTs were requested by Lancashire Constabulary to evacuate the mans body, once Police investigations had been carried out.

At this stage some Police resources involved were stood down, with a number of MRT members leaving to return to work, whilst some colleagues remained behind to undertake the evacuation of the mans body.

By 15.20hrs the stretcher evacuation of the man commenced from the woodlands to the A675, completed shortly after 16.00hrs in conditions of torrential rain.
By 16.25hrs all search resources on scene had been stood down and commenced returning to their home locations.

The following resources were involved in this phase of the search operation;

  • Lancashire Constabulary; One (Police) Missing Person Search Manager, Local Divisional Officers, Three Mounted Officers, a number of Operations Support Units, One CID Officer on scene, Crime Scene Investigation Officer (Routine in deaths, and not related to criminality)
  • North West Air Operations Group (Police) Air Support Unit; Lancashire Constabulary Air Support Unit helicopter ‘Oscar November 99.’
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; Three Team Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles, ten Team Call Out list members (Including Steve Nelson; see below)
  • Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team; Team Control Vehicle, Minbus / Ambulance, Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance, fifteen Team Call Out List members (Including Alison Nicholson; see below)
  • SARDA (Wales); Trailing Dog Team, Handler Steve Nelson and Trailing Search Dog Boris, both Bolton MRT.
  • SARDA (England); Air Scenting Dog Team, Handler Alison Nicholson and Search Dog Floss, both Bowland Pennine MRT.

The team would like to express its thanks to the owner and management of the Hare and Hounds Public House for kindly granting permission for the Search RVP to be set up on the pub car park.

All involved in this search operation would like to extend their condolences to the daughter, brothers, family, friends and colleagues of the man involved.