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Incident No: 64 2017

Date: 10 December
Time: 11.58hrs
Location: Auchope Cairn, College Valley

The third incident this week led to the Team being deployed to the College Valley. A relative of a walker reported that they had been tracking the walker’s phone and indicated that the ‘phone ping’ had remained in the same location for 24 hours. She was clearly concerned for the walker’s wellbeing and contact was duly made with the Police.

Northumbria Police activated North of Tyne MRT and ourselves just before midday on Sunday. As we went to standby and the National Police Air Support service attended, a hasty party of local Team members was despatched to the College valley. Two vehicles were also despatched in support.

Soon after it was decided to call out the full team as we were uncertain NPAS could reach the location of the ‘phone ping’ due to cloud lying over The Cheviot. The Teams were to RV in Wooler to give us the option of deploying search groups from Wooler Common, Harthope valley and College valley.

Border Search & Rescue Unit were also placed on standby.

Unfortunately (or fortunately!) not long after the callout message it became apparent that our missing walker had more than likely spent the night at the Mounthooly bunkhouse and had left in the morning, fit and well. Once this information was confirmed, the majority of Team members were stood down.

The hasty party was requested by the Police to conduct a limited search in and around the location of the ‘phone ping’, which by now had been confirmed as being on the northerly slope of Auchope Cairn, just below the summit. After a hasty search of the lower to mid section of the Hen Hole and the route from Auchope shelter to Auchope Cairn had been conducted, with nothing found, the hasty party headed back to our Land Rover in the valley. Soon after it was confirmed that the walker had returned to Mounthooly having walked to Windy Gyle and back, totally oblivious about what had been going on.

A well meaning incident. Thankfully nobody was at risk and the walker was accounted for at the end of the day.

We’d like to thank, once again, the College Valley Estate for their assistance.

The incident involved 8 Team members for 6 hours 30 minutes. Another 16 members were en-route to Wooler when they were stood down.