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.
Yesterday afternoon the Team along with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team responded to a request from Northumbria Police to assist in the search for a missing male from the Morpeth area. The male in his early 50s had been missing since Monday.
The search in and around a wooded area in North Northumberland led to a body being located. A sad end for all concerned.
Our thoughts go out to the man’s family and friends at this difficult time.
The incident involved 20 Team members and one Search Dog for 6 hours 30 minutes.
Yesterday we received some sad news. Search dog Sam lost his battle for life. He had been ill for a few months and had been going up to Edinburgh Vet School for tests and treatment. Unfortunately Sam’s handler, Brian, found out on Friday that there was no other option but to put him to sleep.
During his life Sam has been involved in many searches and had four finds to his name. He has been on television at least twice and in a film.
He made friends with everyone he met and pestered them with his squeaky toys! He will be greatly missed by Brian and his wife and all members of our Team.
Brian’s newest search dog, Tess, now has some big paws to fill but Sam trained her well.