Incident 12/2013

This very wet morning at 09.35hrs we were paged by Lancashire Constabulary, which included a SARCALL alert, to assist with the continuation of a multi agency search for a missing 72 years old male, centred upon the River Ribble in the vicinity of Ribchester, Lancashire.

Throughout the previous night and in to the early hours of this morning the search had involved Lancashire Constabulary, Police Air Support Unit assistance, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service assets and Bowland Pennine MRT.
We were asked to take over from Bowland Pennine MRT during the daylight hours.

Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE liaised with and was informed by Phil O’Brien, Team Leader of Bowland Pennine MRT, as to their major part in the search operation, and also liaised with the Lancashire Constabulary Missing Person Search Manager.


In total twenty Bolton MRT attended, all meeting up to depart from our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ at 11.29hrs in convoy to the Ribchester RVP., where we all arrived at 12.35hrs. (The RVP was by Ribchester Bridge over the River Ribble, by the former De Tabley Arms in the Little Town area of Ribchester)

After liaising with the Fire and Police assets already present, as to the joint search operation, we deployed our SAR Boat and a canoe to join the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Boat and Water Sled team, alongside the North West (Police) Underwater Search and Marine Unit, in a search of the River Ribble.

Other Bolton MRT members joined in with Lancashire Constabulary Officers from their Operational Support Unit to carry out bankside searches and searches of adjacent open land alongside the River Ribble in the vicinity of Ribchester.
Our part in the intensive river and river bank search was concluded without result at 16.30hrs when the light faded, to be continued tomorrow by Lancashire Constabulary and the NW(P)USMU resources.

The team would like to thank Lancashire Constabulary for their provision of excellent catering throughout this day long search, which was all the more welcomed given that the search was carried out in conditions of persistent rain and chilling dampness.

With the Bolton MRT deployed out of our usual team operational area with all its available assets, arrangements were made by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE with his colleague Team Leaders in Rossendale and Pendle MRT (Pete Goble) and Oldham MRT (Mick Nield) for their teams to cover in turn the Bolton MRT area, should a call out occur in our home area. (With thanks to both teams for agreeing to provide this cover)


In addition to our twenty team members deployed on this search, a further three team members assisted at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ this morning getting everything ready for the twenty members to deploy.

Furthermore upon the return of the twenty members from the search to our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ this evening, a further five team members were on hand to assist with cleaning of all our vehicles and SAR Boat used on the search and replenishing kit items used, all to ensure the team is ready to respond to the next call out.

The following resources were deployed during the time the Bolton MRT were involved in this search operation (ie Daylight hours, Tuesday 8th January 2013)

  • Lancashire Constabulary; 1x Police Missing Person Search Manager, 1x Traffic Officer, Divisional Officers, Catering (Mobile) Unit, and two full Operational Support Units (In two vehicles) Also deployed was the Lancashire Constabulary Search Control Vehicle.
  • Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service; 3x Pump Appliances, 1x Major Incident Support Unit vehicle with demountable pod containing their SAR Boat and Water Rescue Sled, 1x Mobile Fire Station / Control Unit vehicle, all under the direction of Blackburn Fire Station Commander.
  • North West (Police) Underwater Search and Marine Unit, including their Support Vehicle.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; Seventeen Full team Call Out list members and three Probationary team members, all four of our Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles, our Minibus, SAR Boat and one canoe. (See above report for additional team members involved in deploying the team at the start and upon our return to Base / HQ)