Incident 68/2013

At 20.53hrs this evening, our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE was directly contacted by a GMP Missing Person Search Manager, regarding a missing 74 years old man in the Astley Bridge area of Bolton, in circumstances giving cause for concern.

At 21.31hrs following further discussions with GMP, and some initial pre planning, the team was paged for a full team call out, to assist a gathering Police search effort.

All members were requested to assemble at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ, with immediate effect, with a large number present by 22.00hrs.

The initial search plan was for five of our Team vehicles to join in with Police patrol vehicles, and search roads around the missing persons home address, and main roads out to Bury, Bolton, Darwen, Belmont and Horwich.


Meanwhile our Team Leader and experienced team members Steve Fletcher and Gillian Leigh, along with our Incident Control Vehicle (Its first operational call Out deployment) at circa 22.35hrs met at GMP Astley Bridge Police Station, to formulate a search strategy with the responding GMP Missing Person Search Manager and local Divisional Officers.

At this stage a helicopter from the National Police Air Service had also deployed, and had conducted a wide area search around the missing mans home.

We also deployed our specialist Mountain Rescue Trailing Dog ‘Boris,’ alongside a GMP General Purpose Dog Unit.

Working throughout the late evening and into the early hours of this very warm night, Bolton MRT and GMP resources carried out a comprehensive search of the area around the missing mans home address, concentrating on the valleys of the Astley and Eagley Brooks, and the Waters Meeting Leisure Complex area, as well as the local road network.


At circa 01.00hrs an Islander aircraft of the GMP Fixed Wing Air Support Unit joined in the search operation.

By 02.20hrs in the early morning of Monday 10th June, all ‘first phase’ search tasking’s had been completed, and Bolton MRT were stood down to resume at circa 10.00hrs whilst Police enquiries and search efforts to find the man continued, alongside public media appeals.

The following resources were deployed to this search operation;

  • GMP; One Missing Person Search Manager.
  • GMP; Local Divisional Officers on foot and vehicle patrol.
  • GMP; Fixed Wing Air Support Unit Aircraft ‘India 66’ from Manchester International Airport.
  • National Police Air Service; Helicopter ‘NPAS 21’ from City Airport Manchester (Barton).
  • GMP; One General Purpose Dog Unit.
  • SARDA (Wales) / Bolton MRT; Mountain Rescue Trailing Search Dog Handler Steve Nelson and Mountain Rescue Trailing Search Dog Boris.
  • Bolton MRT; Twenty Seven Team Call Out list members, Four Land Rover Mountain Rescue Land Rover Ambulances, our Minibus / Crewbus Ambulance and our Incident Control Vehicle.

Bolton MRT and GMP would like to thank the McDonalds 24 hour Restaurant at the junction of Blackburn Road and Waters Meeting Road, Astley Bridge, Bolton, for allowing us the use of their car park as a search control point and vehicle RVP for the duration of this search operation.