Incident 94/2012

Following a notification call yesterday evening, this morning our specialist Trailing Search Dog Boris and his handler, Bolton MRT member Steve Nelson (SARDA Wales) journeyed from their Bury home, leaving at 09.00hrs, to join in a search operation co-ordinated by Buxton MRT in the Errwood Reservoir area of the Goyt Valley for a missing male.

Steve was joined by our Training Officer Elaine Gilliland, who acted as his navigator for his part in this search operation.

Other MRT and SARDA assets were also involved in this search operation, alongside Police resources.

By 13.00 Steve had returned home, his part (And that of Boris) in the search having concluded.

Later this same afternoon, Steve and Boris (Without Elaine this time) were called to lend their specialist support to another (Unrelated) MRT search operation in the Hollingworth Lake area of Littleborough, but after leaving his home address at circa 15.15hrs he was stood down responding as no longer required. (This second call is recorded here for information and interest only and does not feature in our ‘Incident Listings.’)

The following report with regards to the above search operation within the Goyt Valley, appeared on our national Mountain Rescue England and Wales website on Monday 10th December 2012, and is reproduced here for the further information of our readers:

Major Goyt Valley Search For Poynton Man

A major search was launched in the Goyt Valley on Saturday 8th December following the discovery of a car belonging to a man from Poynton, Cheshire.

Cheshire police became extremely concerned for the welfare of Kevin Bird, 51 years, after he was reported missing from home in Poynton earlier in the day. A police helicopter was tasked to search the area around Errwood and Fernilee reservoirs and police officers from both Cheshire and Derbyshire Constabularies started a search in the immediate vicinity around Errwood Hall car park.

Buxton Mountain Rescue Team, which was fundraising in Castleton at the time, was called out at 1.00 pm and provided thirty volunteers and four search dogs to comb nearby footpaths. Specially trained team members were able to search the water’s edge and the rescue boat from Errwood Sailing Club was of great assistance. A specialist police water search team was also deployed. The search continued into the late evening darkness in freezing conditions and low cloud.

The following day the search resumed at dawn and involved eighty volunteers from Buxton, Kinder and Derby Mountain Rescue Teams. Seven mountain search and rescue dogs also joined the hunt, some travelling from the North East of England. Police specialists on land and water searching were also called in. Heavy rain and the steep terrain of the Goyt Valley hampered the search with all the tributaries to the reservoirs being in flood conditions.

Regrettably, by darkness, no trace of Mr Bird had been found and the rescue teams stood down after a total of over 1,000 man-hours of searching. Roger Bennett, Chairman of Buxton Mountain Rescue Team, said, “We have put a great deal of effort into trying to solve this mystery and we feel sincerely sorry for the family that we have not been able to locate Mr Bird.”

Kevin Bird is described as 6’ 1″ tall, of slim build and believed to be wearing green cargo pants and a white t-shirt. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the police on 101 or anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting Cheshire police incident number 429 of 8th December.