Northumbria Police contacted North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and ourselves for advice yesterday morning. They were concerned for the wellbeing of a vulnerable male, who was potentially in Cumbria.
Using SARLOC, a smartphone location app, and MX SARMAN’s location tool, our Duty Controller was able to confirm the missing male was indeed outside of our operational area in Cumbria. With further information from our Duty Controller, the Police Search Adviser was able to ensure the vulnerable male was returned home to his family, safe and well.
The incident involved two Team members for 2 hours 50 minutes.
Today water trained Team members took part in a joint exercise with Northumbria Police Marine Unit. The exercise scenario was based on a search for a fisherman missing at the confluence of the North and South Tyne (Fred the exercise manikin was positioned in the river yesterday in an ‘unknown’ location). The Rescue Team provided technical expertise to enable the dive team and their equipment to be positioned safely in a difficult to access location riverside . The Police Team then briefed our members on how they search and equipment used. An underwater search was conducted in difficult conditions. Thankfully Fred was recovered to the bank and evacuated from the site. A great example of partnership working between emergency services and thanks to Northumbria Police for taking part.
A group of 10 walkers had set off earlier in the day from near to Wooler to cover a route of over 20 miles as part of a fundraising effort for charity. The group had split in two during the day and two walkers in one group of five were suffering from dehydration and exhaustion.
As the walkers were technically in our operational area and given the nature of their condition, our Incident Officer agreed with Border Search & Rescue Unit that they would deploy members from the north to the Border ridge. The two walkers and the other three in the group were eventually reunited at Cocklawfoot where the Scottish Ambulance Service assessed the two casualties.
Our Incident Officer provided remote support to the incident and liaised with Northumbria Police to determine whether the other five walkers had safely made it off the hill. A hasty team also stood by in case additional support was required.
All members of the group were confirmed to be safely off the hill at 22.27hrs.
A walker in their late 50s reported themselves lost on a circular walk from Ingram. Once Northumbria Police had confirmed the location of the walker’s car, one of our controllers was despatched to liaise with the Police in Ingram.
Unfortunately at this North of Tyne MRT and ourselves had very little to go on – no intended route or no last known point other than Ingram car park! A SARLOC text message was sent to the walker’s mobile and our Incident Officer tried unsuccessfully to contact the walker on his mobile.
Given we were unable to contact the walker, we assumed he must be dropping into a valley… and low and behold after half an hour, a message came through from the Police to say the walker had safely found their own way off the hill.
The incident involved 4 Team members for 45 minutes.
Date: 21 May 2017
Location: Great Wanney Crag, near Kirkwhelpington
Just as many Team members were about to have their Sunday dinner, we received a callout for an injured female climber on Great Wanney Crag. The climber had fallen onto a ledge and sustained a suspected fractured ankle.
Northumbria Police requested our assistance at just before 6.00pm and along with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team we responded immediately.
Working with the North East Ambulance Service and their HART team, the casualty was treated and her ankle immobilised before we lowered her to the foot of the crag. An awkward stretcher lower over rough, bouldery ground then followed before a 500 metre stretcher carry to the waiting Ambulance. The evacuation took just over 2 hours from arrival on scene.
A male walker in his late 60s was reported lost in thick mist in The Cheviot Hills yesterday evening. Northumbria Police swiftly requested our and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team’s assistance.
Having received details from the Police, our Incident Officer sent a SARLOC message to the walker’s phone. Unfortunately this failed. Thankfully the Incident Officer was able to speak to the walker on his mobile and from the information provided was able to identify a likely location.
The walker who was well equipped was asked to remain at his location whilst the Teams’ 4x4s were deployed to search the prioritised routes. The rest of the Team members were place on standby.
Shortly before 20.00hrs the walker was located to the north of Cold Law above the Harthope valley. He was tired and a bit cold but otherwise okay. He was transported to Wooler, his intended finishing point having started from Kirk Yetholm earlier in the day.
He had walked along the Pennine Way to The Cheviot, descended to Scald Hill and the over to Broadhope Hill before becoming disoriented in the thick mist. A big day out even without the ordeal at the end.
A good result!
The incident involved 11 Team members for 2 hours 20 minutes.
Last weekend the Team was involved in a research project led by The Centre for Search Research and Newcastle University Business School. The research was designed to explore the effectiveness of searching on the ground and in the air.
Over two days our search groups and search dog, Tess, and her handler were put to the test on the ground searching routes and areas on the moors near Rothbury.
QuestUAV and Northumberland National Park Authority were involved in testing fixed wing and rotor drones to search a defined route and area, and the UK Civil Air Patrol used planes and a helicopter to search the same areas.
From an incident control perspective the research gave us a great opportunity to put some of our technology to the test in tracking search groups and accurately recording what had and hadn’t been searched. We also worked with QuestUAV to analyse the digital imagery produced from the fixed wing drone to locate the missing persons.
A highly beneficial couple of days with observers from Northumbria Police, the National Police Air Support Unit, Northumberland Fire & Rescue and the Coastguard.
After a quiet few weeks, Northumbria Police requested Mountain Rescue’s assistance in a search for a 11 year old boy who had gone missing from the Kingswood educational centre near to Hexham. North of Tyne MRT and ourselves responded with our overhead team liaising with the Police to prepare a search strategy and plan, whilst members travelled to the RV.
As the first search areas near to the grounds of the centre were being completed, news came in that the missing boy had been found in the centre of Hexham. Team Leader, Iain Nixon, commented “We are pleased that Callum Davidson was found safe and well, and the MRTs would like to thank the members of public who offered their assistance in the search for Callum.”
Our highly trained searchers and three air scenting search dogs worked alongside Northumbria Police officers, the National Police Air Support Unit and Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service. The Fire Service had provided access to their thermal imaging cameras. A great multi agency response leading to a successful outcome.
Date: 7 March 2017
Location: Harthope Valley, near Wooler
Mid-afternoon yesterday the Team and North of Tyne MRT were requested by Northumbria Police to assist with the rescue of a female walker. The female had fallen and sustained a lower arm injury. The exact location was unknown but was believed to be on the footpath between Langleeford Farm and Scotsman Knowe.
The female’s husband raised the alarm having walked downstream to the nearest inhabited farmhouse at Langleeford.
Two Landrover ambulances were swiftly despatched whilst our Incident Officer travelled directly to the scene. Thankfully enroute the Teams were notified that a North East Ambulance Service Paramedic from Wooler had been able to access the female’s location just upstream of Langleeford Hope. The Paramedic was able to walk the casualty back to their vehicle and the Teams were stood down.