Incident 76/2012

Earlier this week, a sixty years old Oldham man was reported missing to Greater Manchester Police by his concerned family.

By Tuesday evening with mounting concern for his well being, GMP instigated a search for the man, involving their own assets and the services of our colleagues at Oldham MRT.


The long arm of the law protects our Team Leader! (GMP Missing Person Search Manager Ian Crossley, our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and Team President Bob Hutchinson)Oldham MRT continued to assist GMP on Wednesday daytime, as media appeals for information leading to the whereabouts of the missing man were released to the press and social media.

By Wednesday evening, based upon some possible sightings of the missing man, GMP centred their enquiry around the Park Bridge area between Oldham and Ashton-Under-Lyne, and whilst their search efforts would continue throughout Thursday and Friday, mountain rescue assistance was sought for a large scale comprehensive search of the same area on Saturday 3rd November.


Some of the mountain rescue vehicles presentOn Thursday and Friday, 1st / 2nd November, the search focus utilising GMP Officers moved to various locations, as more possible ‘sightings’ of the missing man were reported to GMP and investigated.

On Friday evening, 2nd November, the large scale MRT search operation was confirmed as going ahead, in the Park Bridge area.

All available Bolton MRT members met at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ, commencing at 08.30hrs this morning, Saturday 3rd November, travelling to the Visitor Centre at Park Bridge, after leaving our Base / HQ at circa 09.10hrs.


Our wonderful Catering crew for the operationArriving at Park Bridge by 10.00hrs, our team members met with other responding members from a number of MRTs alongside GMP assets.

An extensive search was co-ordinated by Oldham MRT in association with a GMP Missing Person Search Manager, and following a search briefing by Oldham MRT our members were deployed into search areas by 11.00hrs.

At circa 12.00hrs, all personnel involved in the search operation were recalled from the extensive search areas, with the sad news that a body had been discovered, believed to be the missing person, in a area completely away from the search areas planned.


The mans body had been discovered in woodland, by a shooting party, on land overlooking the Chew Valley, Saddleworth.

A small number of MRT personnel from the search, including Oldham MRT members, alongside GMP Officers were then tasked with the sad operation of recovering the mans body.

The condolences of all involved in this search operation are extended to the family of the man involved.


Team member Gyles Denn receives a search briefing from Oldham MRT Dave KnightDuring the search operation today , which included over seventy six search personnel, the Bolton MRT via our Catering Trailer, supplied all attending with hot and cold drinks, and a never ending supply of bacon and sausage barmcakes, with thanks to Bolton MRT Support Group members Iain Clarkson and Amanda Strickleton, aided by our Team President Bob Hutchinson, who jointly crewed our Catering Trailer throughout the search operation. (Huge credit to Walmsleys Butchers in Ramsbottom, for providing all the bacon and sausage with only a hours notice of it being needed!)


Thanks also to the wife of GMP Missing Person Search Manager Ian Crossley, who supplied cakes to all attending! (It really was a case of feeding the 5,000 or in this case the 76!)

And yes the rumours are true, last week he was seen actually carrying a Bell Stretcher on his back, and then carrying a loaded stretcher on an exercise, and on todays search it can be confirmed that our esteemed Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE was actually out searching and not sat in a nice warm Control Vehicle!


The following resources were deployed on the search operation today at Park Bridge.

  • Greater Manchester Police; 1x Missing Person Search Manager, 1x Tactical Aid Unit section.
  • Bolton MRT; 15x Call Out List members and 2x Support Group members. (Two other call out list members were to be available later, but the search was concluded prior to their arrival) Four Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles, our Minibus and our Catering Trailer.
  • Kinder MRT; 24x Call Out list members and two Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles.
  • Woodhead MRT; Personnel numbers not known at this stage to the reporter, plus Land Rovers and Incident Control Vehicle.
  • Oldham MRT; Personnel numbers not known at this stage to the reporter, plus Land Rovers and Incident Control Vehicle.
  • Glossop MRT; Personnel numbers not known at this stage to the reporter, plus Land Rovers.

All MRTs integrated well on this large scale and well organised search.

photos courtesy of Tony Gillon, Oldham MRT