Incident 14/2014

Our first search operation Call Out of 2014 came in to the team today, when at 15.34hrs we were contacted via SARCALL to assist GMP with a search operation for a missing 50 years old man in the Northenden / Wythenshawe area of South Manchester.

The man was missing in circumstances giving cause for concern as to his well being by both his family and associates and GMP.

Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE spent some time liaising with GMP to establish various search parameters, whilst other team members pre pared search area mapping.

At 15.40hrs the team was paged to go to immediate standby, with a full team call out paged at 16.28hrs.

Members met to then depart our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ at 17.30hrs.

By 18.05hrs a large number of our team members had met up with Police search resources at the search RVP established at The Kingdom Hall, Jehovahs Witness, Palatine Road, Northenden, Manchester. (Huge thanks to the staff here for opening up their car park for this use, it was much appreciated)

By 18.16hrs we had made the first search deployment that of our specialist Mountain Rescue Trailing Dog Boris and his Handler Steve Nelson (Bolton MRT / SARDA Wales) aided by navigator Elaine Gilliland.

A large mixed GMP / Bolton MRT search party was then deployed at circa 18.36hrs to search areas of dense woodland alongside Princess Parkway A5103 in the Wythenshawe / Northenden area.

A Police helicopter then joined in this growing search effort, arriving at circa 20.22hrs, and noted a ‘heat source’ in a patch of dense woodland, in Wythenshawe Park.

Co-incidentally a man out walking his dog, which turned out to be an ex Police Dog, attracted the attention of the helicopter as the dog was seen from the air to go in to the woodland and check out the heat source as well. (Webmaster – maybe the dog thought it was back on duty?)

A mixed ground search party of 4x GMP PCSO’s and seven Bolton MRT members were then directed to this small area of dense woodland, by the Police Helicopter, and subsequently located the missing man concerned, at around circa 20.36hrs.

An NWAS Ambulance was called, and the missing (now located) man was walked with assistance by a PCSO and BMRT member Dave Cook to the Ambulance for onward transfer to hospital for health checks.

From scene a pager stand down was sent at 21.02hrs with our last assets leaving the search RVP at 22.15hrs.

The following resources were involved in this search operation;

  • Greater Manchester Police; Force Control Room / Force Duty Officer, 1x Police Missing Person Search Manager, at least six PCSO’s, Divisional Police Officers, and two CID Officers.
  • National Police Air Service; NPAS 21 Helicopter, from City Airport Manchester (Barton)
  • NWAS (Greater Manchester); Emergency Ambulance from Sharston Ambulance Station, two person crew.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; Twenty six Team Call Out members on scene, one team member at Base / HQ, one further team member stood down responding. Four Team Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, Team Minibus Ambulance, Team Incident Control Vehicle.
  • North East Wales search and Rescue Team; One team member.
  • SARDA (Wales); One specialist Mountain Rescue Trailing Dog, Boris and his Handler Steve Nelson (Also a Bolton MRT member, also included in the BMRT numbers involved figure above)

This search was an excellent example of Greater Manchester Police, NPAS and MRT resources working together to reach a successful outcome.

The GMP Missing Person Search Manager involved was former long serving Bolton MRT member Chris Moody, who during his time in our Team served on a number of Team Council positions, including our Training Officer and our Chairman.