Incident 95/2015 – Specialist Water Dog deployment to search for missing man, River Ouse, York

Very long serving and very experienced Team member Dave Marsh and his Waters Search Dog Sasha, deployed early this wet and damp morning to take part in the continuing search operation to locate 29 year old Rory Johnson–Hatfield. Accompanying Dave was his fellow associate in Water Search, Mike Dermody and his dog Quincy. Mike is a British Transport Policeman who trained alongside Dave at the same time. Both Dave and Mike are members of SARDA Ireland North. On this occasion, a member of Oldham MRT, in the guise of Phil Davies, also attended as an observer, whilst Dave’s fellow colleague from Bolton MRT, John Dickinson, also attended lending considerable support to Dave and Mike.

29-year-old Rory Johnson–Hatfield, from Skipton, vanished whilst on a night out in York nearly a month ago.

Since such time there have been numerous searches and Police enquiries to ascertain his whereabouts, including social media appeals.

Police and rescue crews have been hampered in their searches on the River Ouse, by high river levels, but with levels dropping, Dave and Mike were asked to deploy today to assist with this search.

Dave deployed alongside Bolton MRT team colleague John Dickinson, in our Land Rover Defender Mountain Rescue Ambulance, ‘Bolton Mobile 4,’ along with our 3.4 metre long semi rigid inflatable SAR Boat. Mike and Phil journeyed separately for all to arrive at the meeting point for the 09-30 start.

Team members and specialist search dogs searching the River Ouse at York. Picture: York Rescue Boat
Team members and specialist search dogs searching the River Ouse at York. Picture: York Rescue Boat

An introduction took place followed by deployment. Mike took the first leg, commencing his search near the centre of York working downstream some 4 miles ending just above a weir near the Ship Inn. Dave and Sasha then completed the return leg back to the centre of York. In all, both dogs covered some 8 miles in total.

Also searching today were members from York Rescue Boat.

Following a de-brief session, farewells were exchanged with the day ending some 12.5 hrs later back home.

Please also see the Website and Facebook for York Rescue Boat.