Incident 58/2015 – Full team call out to assist our close colleagues at Cheshire Search and Rescue Team

Today Cheshire SART were once again involved in the further continuation of a search which started for them on Friday evening 26th June, for a missing 32 years old woman, in circumstances giving Cheshire Constabulary now rising concern as to her welfare.

The search area was again focused around the Appleton Thorn area near Warrington, Cheshire.

Cheshire SARTs search planning team had decided that with the continuation of the search and possible sightings, more resources would be required to join their efforts, and those of Cheshire Constabulary and the North West Police Underwater Search and Marine Unit in this mounting search operation.

Simon Lane, Team Leader of Cheshire SART had liaised with our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE on Sunday evening 28th June as to the assistance of Bolton MRT.

This morning at various times further liaison took place between Simon and Garry, resulting at 12.35hrs in a decision that Bolton MRT would possibly be required, with a request that we attend from late afternoon onwards.

At 14.50hrs a pager message to the entire team confirmed earlier pager messages, that we would be required, and at 16.00hrs the first batch of eight team members assembled at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ to depart for the Search RVP at Thorn Cross HMP car park, Appleton Thorn.

A problem with our Incident Control Vehicle, meant our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and Deputy Team Leader Chris Greenhalgh had to await the arrival of the AA, whilst six other team members departed in our Ford Transit crewbus / Ambulance and our Land Rover Defender Mountain Rescue Ambulance ‘Bolton Mobile 1,’ for the search RVP.

The six, Michael Eddleston, Heath Doran, Neil Haigh, David Crawford, DVSD Search Dog Handler Dave Marsh and DVSD Search Dog Sasha, and John Dickinson all arrived at the search RVP by 17.30hrs, being joined shortly by team member Martin Battersby, who had arrived direct from a business meeting in the south.

Meanwhile Garry and Chris were rescued by a very kind man from the AA – actually Volkswagen Group Roadside Assistance (Working in Partnership with the AA) who quickly resolved the problem, and had Garry and Chris on their way.

Sadly the discovery of a body in the Antrobus area, shortly after our seven members on scene had commenced their search areas near to Appleton Thorn, led to the immediate stand down of the search operation, being confirmed by a pager message at 18.10hrs, with other members stood down responding at this stage, including a group about to depart our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ in more team vehicles.

We understand that at this stage of the search operation, assisting Cheshire SART and Cheshire Constabulary, were assets from SARDA Wales, SARDA England, SARDA Ireland North, Merseyside Search and Rescue Team, and the North West Police Underwater Search and Marine Unit.

In total eight Bolton MRT members were present on scene, including our DVSD Search Dog Handler Dave Marsh (also a member of SARDA Ireland North) and our Trailing Search Dog Handler Steve Nelson (also a member of SARDA Wales) who according to Cheshire SART Team Leader Simon Lane did a sterling job throughout the day, organising and co-ordinating a joint SARDA Wales / SARDA England response.

A further eleven Bolton MRT team members were stood down responding to join in this search, with a small number of Bolton MRT members pledging their support to join in with the search later in the evening should it have been on going.

The teams condolences are expressed to the family, friends and colleagues of the 32 years old young woman involved in this incident.

More details as to this search can be found within the website of Cheshire SART and their associated Facebook site.