Incident 104/2013

At 10:25hrs this morning, whilst the team were engaged on an Awareness & Training exercise in Mountain Rescue with a number of Officers from Greater Manchester Police, the team was paged by a GMP Missing Person Search Manager with the request for the team’s assistance in the Sale Water Park area of Stretford, Greater Manchester, in regards to a missing 60 years old man local to the area.

The call was answered by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, who liaised with GMP regarding the escalation of the on going search operation, and the progress of Police enquiries.

The man had been missing possibly since the late hours of Monday 18th November.


At 10.37hrs the Bolton MRT was placed on standby for a late afternoon search commencement, to follow on from some initial search areas being tasked to GMP Tactical Aid Unit Officers.

With two Cheshire SART members, including their Team Leader, present with our Leader Garry on the GMP ‘Awareness Day’ event, Cheshire SART were also placed on standby to assist, as were our Support group members to provide catering support.

At 13.49hrs, our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE contacted Peter Goble, Team Leader of Rossendale and Pendle MRT, for his teams possible assistance as well, given the likely size of the search area taskings.

Further conversations with the GMP Missing Person Search Manager, led our team to be called out at 15.45hrs, along with Cheshire Search and Rescue Team and Rossendale and Pendle MRT.

The first Bolton MRT and Cheshire SART assets arrived at the Search RVP, which was set up at Jackson’s Bridge / Jackson’s Bridge Public House, Sale Water Park, at 16.30hrs.

With a potentially very large area to search and given the on set of darkness, search area taskings were drawn up including the deployment of our specialist Mountain Rescue Trailing Dog Boris with his Handler Steve Nelson.

Given the very large number of water areas in the Sale Water Park searcharea, including the River Mersey, multiple brooks, drains, small ponds and large water bodies, specialist trained and equipped members of Cheshire SART and Bolton MRT members ‘suited up’ whilst taskings were specifically prepared for them.

Full catering support was also provided by Bolton MRT Support group members Gary Melia, Sarah Hindle and Iain Clarkson, from our Catering Unit trailer.


Mountain Rescue Trailing Search Dog Boris, had started on a trail, when the initial news was received at circa 18.33hrs by GMP at our Search Control, that the missing man might have been located by a member of the public, who had recognised the man from the many public appeals.

It is understood that this kindly member of the public had located the man in Alexandra Park in the Whalley Range area of South Manchester, completely outside the designated search areas.

By 18.35hrs GMP confirmed that the man was indeed the missing man, and all search assets involved were stood down on scene, with other team members stood down responding.

19.40hrs saw the last MRT assets leaving the search RVP.

We would like to express our thanks to Paul Riley and David Hall, owners of Jackson’s Boat Public House, and Martin Duxbury, Manager of Jackson’s Boat Public House, for very kindly allowing all the Police and MRT / SRT teams involved to utilise the car park of the public house for the search RVP / Control Point.

The following resources were utilised in this phase of the search operation;
(A helicopter from NPAS – Barton, had been used in the early of this morning, with GMP Tactical Aid Group Officers this morning)

  • Greater Manchester Police; Two members of the GMP Tactical Aid Unit, one of which is a Missing Person Search Manager., and local Divisional Officers.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; 23x Call Out list members and 3x Support Group members on scene, all four of our Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, our Crewbus / minibus, our Incident Control Vehicle (From which the entire search was co-ordinated) our SAR Boat and Catering Trailer Unit. In addition a further 7x Bolton MRt team Call Out list members were stood down responding to this search.
  • Cheshire search and Rescue Team; 16x team members on scene, and their Incident Control Vehicle. Further team members were stood down responding.
  • Rossendale and Pendle MRT; Circa 12x team Call Out list members on scene, with others stood down responding. 1x Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance, 1x Toyota HiLux Mountain Rescue Ambulance and their Incident Control Vehicle (Which was used to set up a subsidiary Control Point by ‘Deckers Restuarant’ alongside Sale Water Park)
  • Search and Rescue Dog Association (Wales); Mountain Rescue Trailing Search Dog Boris and his Handler Steve Nelson, a member of Bolton MRT, and also included in the Bolton MRT members attending total figure above.

This was a large scale MRT / SRT response to an area we in Bolton MRT have deployed to on a great many previous occasions for missing person searches on behalf of GMP and assistance calls to NWAS for injured horse riders, walkers and mountain bikers.

As ever all three MRTs / SRTs operated seamlessly together, alongside our specialist search dog asset and the GMP resources deployed to scene.