Date: 5 December 2017
Location: Hamsterley Forest, County Durham
Late afternoon on Tuesday our Search Dog handler was placed on standby to assist Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team (TWSMRT) in locating a missing 15 year old male with autism. The young male had disappeared whilst on a school trip to Hamsterley Forest.
As the search was scaled up, our Search Dog handler was deployed to work alongside other handlers from the North East, TWSMRT, Cleveland MRT and Swaledale MRT. The HM Coastguard helicopter from Humberside was also involved by this stage.
We were then called alongside North of Tyne MRT at 22.32hrs to assist with the search from 08.30hrs the following day should the incident continue overnight. Thankfully as availability responses were being gathered by our Duty Controller, the good news came through that the young male had been located by Forestry Commission workers who had been driving the forest tracks.
A great result and relief for all concerned.
The incident involved 1 Team member and search dog for 4 hours.
Date: 16 October 2017
Location: Auchope Shelter, Pennine Way
As one of our incident controllers was liaising with Northumbria Police regarding incident number 51, more details to follow, a second request for support came in. This time for an injured female walker who had spent the night in the Auchope Mountain Refuge Hut. The female had been walking the Pennine Way and on descending from Auchope Cairn on Sunday had damaged her ankle. Being well equipped she decided to spend the night in the shelter before trying to finish her journey the following day.
Unfortunately with the prevailing weather and the state of her ankle, the walker rightly requested help from Mountain Rescue. North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and ourselves responded from the College Valley and Border Search & Rescue Unit from Sourhope Farm on the Scottish side of the border. We were assisted by the College Valley Estates, once again, with the use of one of their ATVs.
The walker was ultimately evacuated down to Sourhope Farm by the Border’s team.
Having got so close to completing the Pennine Way, we hope the female makes a swift recovery and returns to complete the last few miles.
The incident involved 18 Team members for 2 hours 20 minutes.
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Date: 2 October 2017
Location: Hexham area
Earlier in the week members of our joint controller group with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team responded to a request for support from Northumbria Police to help locate a vulnerable female. SARLOC – the text based location App – was used but unfortunately the female did not respond to the text. The female was, however, located shortly afterwards by Police Officers in a field close to her home address.
The incident involved 4 members for 1 hour 10 minutes.
Date: 28 September 2017
We received a SARCALL activation from Northumbria Police at 19.59 hrs to assist with a search for a vulnerable female in her early 70s who was last seen by her husband in a supermarket carpark in Hexham.
The Police already had officers on the ground searching and had called in the National Police Air Support Unit to assist.
The Team and North of Tyne MRT were placed on standby and drivers were arranged whilst our controller liaised with the Police to gain more information to aid deployment.
Whilst we were talking to the Police control room, the good news came through that the female had been located safe and well.
The teams were stood down and normal family life resumed!
The incident involved three members for 30 minutes.
Persons reported struggling in the River Wansbeck. A group of young males and females had been drinking all day in Morpeth and after leaving one of the pubs, thought it would be a good idea to take two of the rowing boats, which had been locked up for the night, out onto the river. An eye witness reported seeing the group capsize both of the boats.
That was the scenario which faced a multi-agency response last night. Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service, the Coastguard and Mountain Rescue were involved in agreeing and implementing an effective search plan to locate the missing persons. Swiftwater and bankside teams, all in appropriate PPE, a Mountain Rescue search dog team were swiftly deployed by the three agencies, and all the casualties were located, treated and evacuated within an hour and a half.
Date: 10 September 2017
Location: North Tyne Valley
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Northumbria Police requested assistance in an ongoing search for a missing female in the North Tyne valley. North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and ourselves responded with Incident Controllers liaising with the Police Search Adviser to agree a search plan.
The Teams were called out soon after and deployed to search paths, tracks and wooded areas near to the missing person’s point last seen. Assistance was also requested from Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team to search the banks of the nearby rivers as we had a limited number of water trained members available.
Nearly six hours later the missing female was located by one of our search groups, safe and well, and was soon reunited with her family. A good outcome for all concerned.
The incident involved 25 members for 6 hours 30 minutes.
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Date: 19 July 2017
Location: Newcastle and Durham
Northumbria Police requested our support with a missing person who lived in the Newcastle area and had been last seen in North Shields. SARLOC was used again to try to identify the missing person’s location. No response to SMS was received and no further action was taken by the Team or North of Tyne MRT.
During the above incident, our Duty Controller also received a request from the North East Ambulance Service to assist in locating a casualty on an embankment in the Durham area. Not strictly our area but to provide a timely response a SARLOC SMS was sent by our Duty Controller. The casualty was eventually located by NEAS.
Earlier in the evening our Duty Controller had also been alerted to an incident on the Scottish side of the Cheviots by Border Search & Rescue Unit. At this stage it was for situational awareness and BSARU along with the Scottish Ambulance Service were able to deal with the injured farmer.
A busy evening but thankfully we didn’t need to leave our homes!
The incidents involved 1 Team member for 1 hour 11 minutes.
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