Incident 93/2013

At 23:31 this evening the Team was contacted by Greater Manchester Police via SARCALL, who requested the team’s assistance to search for a missing male on the moors above Belmont.

The call was answered by our Team Leader, Garry Rhodes MBE. In discussion with Greater Manchester Police the full team was called out at 23:42 to commence an urgent moorland search. Due to the nature of the incident the team also contacted our colleagues at Rossendale & Pendle MRT and Bowland Pennine MRT. Cheshire Search & Rescue Team were also put on standby in the event that the search continued into the next day.

A car belonging to the missing man, who lives in Horwich, had been found by Police, parked at Hordern Stoops, on the road between Rivington and Belmont.

As the three MRTs were mobilising a hasty search of the immediate area surrounding the car was undertaken by Greater Manchester Police’s Tactical Aid Unit, who were assisted by an NPAS (Police) Helicopter in searching the same area from above.

With the remainder of the possible search areas better suited to MRT deployment, the three teams met at Hordern Stoops and began a search of a number of footpaths and moorland tracks in the area that run between Winter Hill, Great Hill, White Coppice, Belmont and also Yarrow Reservoir.

Happily the male was found at 02:37 by a search party of Rossendale & Pendle MRT members on the Spitler’s Edge path running between Hordern Stoops and Great Hill. He was suffering from hypothermia but was able to walk, assisted by Bolton and Rossendale team members, back to the rendezvous point at Hordern Stoops. The party arrived back at the car park at 03:08 and the man was then taken to Royal Bolton Hospital by an NWAS Emergency Ambulance.

The three rescue teams stood down at 05:30 with all vehicles back at their respective bases.

The Mountain Rescue Teams involved received a note of thanks from Greater Manchester Police very shortly afterwards, an excerpt of which is reproduced below:

“Further to our conversations in the early hours of this morning on top of the moors at Rivington, Bolton

I wanted to formally express my very sincere gratitude to yourself and other members of the mountain rescue team in relation to the above incident.

As you know the male had been missing for several hours. GMP staff and the police helicopter had been looking for him on the moors for several hours. We contacted members of the mountain rescue and yourself and teams from Bolton, Bowland and Rossendale and Pendle attended, commenced a wider search and found the man in a poorly condition at 0308 on the 8th.

There is no doubt in my mind that your efforts saved this man’s life. On behalf of myself and GMP, could you please pass on my thanks, and appreciation of your team’s professionalism.


Superintendent Karan Lee
Operational Superintendent
Bury Divisional Headquarters”

The team also received thanks from the family of the missing man.

This incident involved the following resources:

  • Greater Manchester Police
    • Divisional resources
    • Missing person search manager
    • Tactical Aid Unit
  • National Police Air Service helicopter
  • NWAS Emergency Ambulance
  • Mountain Rescue
    • Bolton MRT – 16 team members, 4 vehicles and control vehicle
    • Rossendale & Pendle MRT – 7 team members and 2 vehicles
    • Bowland Pennine MRT – 6 team members and one team vehicle
  • SARDA Trailing & Air Scenting Dogs (requested in the event the search continued into the next day)
  • Cheshire SART (placed on standby in the event the search continued into the next day)