Date: 24 September 2017
In the early hours of this morning Northumbria Police requested our support in locating a high risk missing person in the Seahouses and Beadnell area of Northumberland. Given the information available, deploying the Team and North of Tyne MRT was not required. Instead, the Duty Controller assisted by liaising with the Police Search Adviser and sending a SARLOC to the misper’s phone before monitoring for a response.
The National Police Air Support unit was utilised and Police Officers provided ground support. The misper was located 45 minutes later.
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.