Oct 22 2013
Our current Team Training Officer Dave Marsh, a former SARDA Air Scenting Mountain Rescue Dog Handler and currently NSARDA National Secretary, is as our regular readership will be aware, currently training along with his dog Sasha (Webmaster; the important part of the relationship!) to be a Drowned Victims Search Dog Handler, and is well advanced in such and rapidly approaching his grading.
Such specialist training to be a DVSD Handler has brought Dave and Sasha in to contact with many equally specialist dog handlers and like minded organisations, particularly within UK Police Services, and obviously as a result of such meetings and his training, Dave has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on DVSD operations, linked to his previous extensive and successful time as a SARDA Air Scenting Mountain Rescue Dog Handler (With Chi)
Hence just a short while ago, Dave was contacted by Humberside and Yorkshire Police Diving Unit for advice regards an on going search of theirs in Leeds.
A member of the public had fallen into the River Aire near Leeds City centre, last December as evidenced by CCTV in the area.
Despite numerous operations involving the Diving Unit, the mans body has sadly has never been found.
The River Aire at this point is approximately 30x metres wide and between 2 and 4 metres deep, with a large volume of water running through it.
Dave was asked if he could attend the on going search operation, with his Drowned Victims Search Dog Sasha, but because she is only part way through her training, it was deemed not feasible.
However, Dave contacted his very supportive mentor over in Northern Ireland [Neil Powell] and Neil readily agreed that he would provide his search capability in the shape of Fearn [Neil’s Water Search Dog which has successfully located 6 drowned persons previously on numerous searches in Northern Ireland].
On Sunday, 20th October 2013, Neil and two of his colleagues, acting as his support crew arrived in Leeds to await further instructions for a start to their search involvement on Monday 21st October 2013.
Dave also journeyed across to Leeds to meet up with the Northern Irish contingent to act as an observer, and to further his own training experiences to become a DVSD Handler himself.
Monday mornings early briefing saw everybody either out on the water or acting as bankside safety and launching and retrieving of the rigid inflatable boat being used.
A distance of approximately 4.5 linear kilometres of river was searched by Neil and his Search Dog Fearn with no indications on the day being registered.
Today, Tuesday 22nd October, saw one and all, including Dave Marsh, continuing the search some 11 kms downstream, working back up the river to where yesterdays search commenced.
To date the missing person has not been found, and Police enquiries are continuing.