Incident 97/2013

A call was passed to us directly today from Rossendale and Pendle MRT, who in error had been contacted by Lancashire Constabulary, regarding MRT assistance in relation to a rapidly developing search for a missing man.

The call from Ted Handley of RPMRT was taken by our Team Leader, Garry Rhodes MBE at 16.39hrs, who then contacted the Force Incident Manager at Lancashire Constabulary for further information.

The search, around the margins of Turton and Entwistle Reservoir, in the West Pennine Moors, was in relation to a 65 years old male who had become separated from his female companion, whilst walking around the reservoir.

With some concern for his welfare, due to a medical condition, a large number of Lancashire Constabulary Officers were despatched to the area, along with a Police helicopter.

Garry then contacted the local Divisional Police Officer, who confirmed the team was still required, which resulted in a full team pager call out at 16.57hrs.

Team members were requested to assemble initially at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ, with plans made to dispatch all six team vehicles and our SAR Boat to the search RVP, which was established at Batridge Road Car Park, Turton and Entwistle Reservoir, north of Chapeltown.

Our first arriving member John Dickinson, reached the RVP at 17.15hrs to liaise with Police on scene.

By 17.30hrs, our Deputy Team Leader, Geoff Seddon, had commenced a search of the track network from the A666 into the Cadshaw area, using his 4WD vehicle.

As our 2nd member John Fletcher arrived at the RVP at 17.35hrs and with two team vehicles (Land Rover BM1 and Incident Control Vehicle BM6) just minutes away from the RVP, the missing man with his dog, turned up safe and well at the Search RVP, and by 17.43hrs Police confirmed that the team could be stood down.

At this stage, a further (third) team vehicle had mobilised, and a great many team members were stood down mobilising directly or about to leave our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ.

Thanks as ever to our friends at Bowland Pennine MRT who allowed us to utilise their ‘Winter Hill Repeater’ radio channel to greatly improve the efficiency in this area of our radio communications.

Thanks also to Ted Handley of Rossendale and Pendle MRT, who remained available ready to contact the rest of the RPMRT should their services be required to assist with this search.

The following resources were known to have deployed to this search operation;

  • Lancashire Constabulary; Force Control Room, at least two PCSO Officers and at least seven Police Officers.
  • National Police Air Service; Helicopter NPAS 23 from its BAE Warton base.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; Four Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, Our Minibus / Crewbus Ambulance, our Incident Control Vehicle and our 3.5 metre long semi rigid inflatable SAR Boat, three team members on scene / actively searching at stand down, a further thirty one team members stood down responding. (34x in total)
  • SARDA (Wales); Mountain Rescue Trailing Search Dog Handler Steve Nelson, a member of Bolton MRT (And included in the figures above) and his specilaist Mountain Rescue Trailing Search Dog Boris.