Incident 36/2014 – search in Worsley

At 13.13hrs this afternoon, we were paged by Greater Manchester Police requesting our assistance with a developing search for a missing 31 year old male, from Eccles, Manchester, in circumstances giving Police concern for his welfare.

Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE then spent some time in liaison with GMP determining initial search areas and parameters, and deciding upon a suitable Search RVP.

Meanwhile our Deputy Team Leader Chris Greenhalgh was obtaining likely search area mapping.

Standby calls for the possible assistance of our colleagues at Rossendale and Pendle MRT and Cheshire SAR Team were also made by Garry.

At 15.09hrs a full team Call Out was made to RVP at Middlewood Scout Camp, off Leigh Road, Worsley.

The assistance of Rossendale and Pendle MRT and Cheshire SART was also confirmed.

GMP Officers including Tactical Aid Officers and PCSO’s had already commenced searches, along with overflights by a Police helicopter.

At 15.15hrs our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE arrived at the search RVP meeting the GMP Search Manager (Co-incidentally a former Bolton MRT member) and together the initial search areas were confirmed.

During the response of Rossendale and Pendle MRT they in turn were called to a search operation in their team area, and so declared their unavailability to this operation.

With the late afternoon arrival of increasing numbers of Bolton MRT and Cheshire SART members, search parties began to be despatched in to a number of areas local to the RVP.


Search control was provided by both Bolton MRT and Cheshire SART via their respective Incident Control Vehicles, whilst full catering support for all attending was provided by our team from our Catering Trailer, crewed by Bolton MRT Support group members Iain Clarkson and Gary Melia.

Areas searched included Middle Wood Scout Camp, Worsley Park Golf Club and environs, Hollin Wood, Worsley Woods, and Peel Cemetery, Peel Green.

Water bodies searched, utilising our SAR Boat and appropriately trained integral water team members, included the length of the Bridgewater Canal from Astley Green to Worsley, and the shorelines of Old Warke Dam, Worsley and Middle Wood Lake.


Advice was also sought from SARDA England Air Scenting Dog Handlers Alsion Nicholson (Bowland Pennine MRT) and Mick Nield (Oldham MRT)

Our specialist Mountain Rescue Trailing Dog Boris with Handler Steve Nelson, and team member Elaine Gilliland acting as navigator, were also deployed, on searches in the Peel Green, Eccles area.

By 21.15hrs all MRT / SRT search areas were completed, with Cheshire SAR Team members departing at 21.30hrs. (with the exception of Cheshire SAR Team Leader, Simon Lane, who continued to liaise and assist with the search co-ordination, alongside our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, Deputy Team Leader Chris Greenhalgh and Steve Fletcher)


Most Bolton MRT members departed by 23.00hrs, with our last members on scene leaving at 23.30hrs.

During this search operation, a 53 year old male member of Cheshire Search and Rescue Team unfortunately suffered an injury due to a slip, which in hospital was found to be a lower leg fracture.

All members of Bolton MRT and his own team wish him a speedy recovery back to full health.

With this aspect of the search concluded, GMP enquiries continued, alongside social and public media appeals.

The following resources were directly involved in this search operation today:

  • Greater Manchester Police
    • Force Control Room
    • Divisional Officers
    • Tactical Aid Unit Officers
    • PCSO’s
    • 3x GMP Missing Person Search Managers
  • National Police Air Service
    • NPAS 21, City Airport Manchester (Barton)
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team
    • 27x Call Out list members
    • 2x Support Group members
    • four Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances
    • Team minibus
    • Incident Control Vehicle
    • 3.5m semi rigid inflatable SAR Boat
    • Catering Trailer Unit
  • Cheshire Search and Rescue Team
    • 19x Operational members
    • Incident Control Vehicle.
  • SARDA Wales
    • Mountain Rescue Trailing Search Dog Boris
    • Handler Steve Nelson
    • Navigator Elaine Gilliland (Both Bolton MRT members, figures included above)