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.
Teesdale & Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team (TWSMRT) requested the Team’s assistance for what turned out to be a major search for a 40 year old grouse beater. The male went missing at 3.00 pm on Monday 26th September on Warcop Fell near the top of Lunedale County Durham. After searching for two hours without success his fellow beaters contacted the Police and Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team were contacted.
As time progressed realising that there was a huge potential search area help was requested from neighbouring MRTs, including TWSMRT. The search escalated overnight and in the early hours to involve teams from the Lake District Search And Mountain Rescue Association, the Yorkshire Dales Rescue Panel, the whole of the North East Search and Rescue Association, a RAF Mountain Rescue Team, 8 search dogs from the Search And Rescue Dog Association England and the Lake District Search & Rescue Dog Association, a and ourselves.
Conditions for searchers overnight were horrendous, and even in the daylight of Tuesday low cloud over the hills hampered the search.
As the weather improved and after a massive effort, the beater was found by a search group at 2.15pm today. He was warmed up and returned to the road safe and well. A good outcome for all concerned.
The incident involved 8 Team members for 9 hours 45 minutes.
Just catching up with recent incidents. Just over a week ago our Controller Group was contacted by Teesdale & Weardale SMRT. Teesdale had a search in the Seaham and Blackhall area of County Durham and required the assistance of one of our search managers. In the end our assistance wasn’t required.
A total of two Team members were involved for 15 minutes.
The Team alongside the other North East MRTs was put on standby by Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team (TWSMRT) for a water search in County Durham. The Team had one Water First Responder team and vehicle available. Swaledale MRT is now assisting TWSMRT, and we have been stood down. Here’s hoping it is a positive outcome.