[14] SEARCH – Truro, 15/06/2018 10:15 hrs

Following the discovery of the car of a despondent male missing overnight in the Truro area, a dozen team members were deployed to search areas of woodland and open ground around Boscawen Park. Working alongside HM Coastguard teams searching the Truro River and NPAS searching overhead, numerous high-probability areas were searched to no avail. By mid-afternoon further intelligence suggested the male was safe and well in the city centre so team members were stood down while investigations continued.

[11] SEARCH – Penzance, 02/05/2018 18:30 hrs

Yesterday evening the team were called by the police to assist in the search for a vulnerable missing male in the Penzance area. Three foot-teams conducted searches of residential streets, Penzance town centre and surrounding alleyways, along with thorough searches of all the public parks and overgrown areas. The team were later joined by HM Coastguard and both Penlee lifeboats who covered the coastline from Penzance to Longrock. By 11:30pm nothing had been found and all personnel were stood down.

Thankfully this morning the missing person was reported safe and well. Many thanks as ever to our volunteer team members who responded and freely gave their time and skills to help the local community.

[6] RESCUE – Snow response, 18-19/03/2018

With further heavy snow forecast in the region, team members were on stand-by to assist with further incidents, particularly outside of Cornwall. During the day, heavy snowfall caused numerous problems along the A30 in Devon and over 50 miles of the key road were closed. As traffic started to back-up in both directions, teams from North Dartmoor SRT and Dartmoor SRT – Tavistock worked tirelessly to keep traffic moving, carry out welfare checks on motorists and transporting stranded drivers to rest facilities in Okehampton.

After a long day for the Dartmoor teams, both Land Rovers from Cornwall were deployed to assist and by midnight were helping clear the remaining stranded vehicles from the A30 near Sourton Cross. Once the road was clear for gritters to access, both vehicles continued down the A386 Tavistock Road to carry out welfare checks on drivers stuck either side of a stranded articulated lorry. With strong wind, drifting snow reached several feet deep along the road, making access difficult; impossible without snow chains! Drifts were so deep in places that one vehicle was completely hidden from view, needing to be dug out to simply check if it was occupied.

Team members were able to check on the welfare of motorists in over 20 vehicles, including a young family, a nurse en route to work and two Marines! Most were safe enough to be left in warm cars, but others were taken to a local pub for food, drink and rest, with the pub staying open until 2am to help people. The bar soon filled up with people in sleeping bags, blankets and duvets, with people reunited with their cars in the morning. Once it was clear everyone was safe for the night, the Land Rovers stood down and were back at base at 5:30am.

[2] RESCUE – Snow response, 01-02/03/2018

Due to the forecast of heavy and persistent snow over the start of March, the team were put on stand-by to assist the emergency services. Over a period of three days (and nights), crews of 4×4 drivers and medically-trained team members were deployed at strategic points around the county to respond to incidents where needed. Over some shifts we weren’t needed, but during busy periods at the height of the snow disruption both Land Rovers were in demand responding to incidents. From midday on 1st through to the morning of 2nd, teams dealt with numerous incidents, including:

  • Rescuing a young family (with four-week-old baby) who had become stranded in a snowy valley near Caerhays Castle, safely transporting them home. This was far from straightforward and required the use of the team Land Rover’s snow chains and winch!
  • Assisting police to transport a vulnerable male back from Praa Sands.
  • Searching for and locating a rough-sleeper in woodland for whom concerns had been raised locally. After ensuring he was properly equipped for the conditions he was left to his warm bed.
  • Transporting nursing staff from Treliske hospital back to their temporary accommodation at the end of their shift.
  • Assisting police to move vital officers between locations at the height of the travel disruption.
  • Attending to an elderly lady who had fallen at home and required medical treatment, but was unable to be reached by land ambulance. The lady in question was treated by team medics before being transported to Treliske hospital.

[1] RESCUE COVER – Brown Willy run, 01/01/2018

A firm fixture in our annual calendar is the Brown Willy Run, where 400+ runners take on seven miles of mud from Jamaica Inn to the top of Brown Willy and back. For once the weather was dry, but the strong wind still made for an interesting transit over Brown Willy! There had also been enough rain over the previous few days to ensure the course was still pretty difficult, but surprisingly we had no incidents to deal with on the moor.

We did still have to deal with a couple of injuries back at the finish line, including a nasty knee injury, but both were patched up and able to go on their way.

[30] SEARCH – Mullion, 07/12/2017 00:16 hrs

Late last night (or early this morning) the team were called-out to assist in the search for an 82-year-old male with dementia, missing from home in Mullion. Whilst a SARDA dog-handler worked through fields close to the male’s home address, a foot team tracked ahead to ‘hasty check’ likely routes. Just after 2am, as more team members were arriving from further afield, the gentleman was located by a HM Coastguard team in fields less than 300m from home. With Storm Charlotte battering this exposed bit of Cornwall, he was quickly wrapped up to protect him from further chilling before being taken by stretcher back to his home address.

Suffering from the effects of the cold driving rain, his temperature had dropped to just 34.2 degrees, but he was soon warmed back up to 36.8 so was safe to remain at home after being checked over by an ambulance crew.

Media coverage of the search is online here.

[29] SEARCH – Penryn, 20/11/2017 17:20 hrs

The team were called by Devon and Cornwall Police early evening to assist in the search for a 46-year-old female missing from the Penryn area. Through the evening, 19 team members searched large areas of woodland along the Glasney Valley and areas of open land along the Penryn River. Two teams from Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team were also tasked to search the shoreline areas of the river whilst the Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat searched the river itself. The NPAS helicopter was also in attendance along with numerous other police resources.

Once the team had searched all of the high-priority areas along the valley we retasked members to search likely areas further afield, based on new intelligence. Once all of these areas were completed the team were stood down at 23:00 hrs.

The missing female was then located safe later that night by a police dog handler.

[28] SEARCH – Illogan, 02/11/2017 09:13 hrs

Today saw a continuation of the search for a 24-year-old missing male, following our search earlier in the week around Bodmin (more details here). The 24-year-old is still missing from home and following a series of sightings and further intelligence, the team were tasked to search large areas of woodland between Illogan and Portreath, and also the surrounding open fields. With our missing person being rather evasive, team members searched in ‘civvies’ rather than the usual red-and-black that people are familiar with. Searching through most of the daylight hours, the team stood down at dusk, with police investigations continuing.

[27] SEARCH – Bodmin, 28/10/2017 09:43 hrs

Saturday morning the team were requested by Devon and Cornwall Police to join the search for a missing 24-year-old male along the Camel Trail near Dunmere Woods. With a lot of the open areas covered by Coastguard ‘924’ helicopter and NPAS helicopter, we deployed three foot teams to cover the more dense wooded areas alongside the Camel Trail. We also deployed a team Land Rover with accompanying police officers to search the numerous trails in Dunmere Wood and were preparing to deploy a water team to search the River Camel. Just as all of the high-priority woodland areas had been covered, the male was sighted well outside of our search areas and teams were stood-down.

Thomas Mugford is still missing though, now in the Camborne area, so please do be vigilant and report any possible sightings. He was last seen wearing khaki cargo shorts and a dark hoodie and any sightings should be reported to the police via 101.

Photos of Thomas are available on Cornwall Live: http://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/search-thomas-mugford-who-disappeared-696307

[25] SEARCH – Hayle, 22/10/2017 19:01 hrs

The team were put on stand-by after the car of a male missing from Hampshire was found in the Hayle area. As investigations continued, the team were then called out to search large areas of open ground, fields and ditches. Several foot teams searched through until just after midnight before being stood down for the night.

Teams then returned the next day and in deteriorating Cornish mizzle continued to expand the search, also recovering areas only covered in darkness the previous night. With all high- and medium-priority areas covered and darkness setting in, the search was again suspended and investigations continued.

Thankfully, and quite remarkably, the missing male then returned home to Hampshire on Monday morning.

[24] MINE RESCUE – St Just, 24/09/2017 13:04 hrs

Just after midday the team were contacted by Devon and Cornwall Police to assist in the rescue of a 50-year-old walker who had fallen through and 15m down into a mine near Cot Valley, St Just. The walker had sustained significant injuries, landing on a narrow ledge inside a constriction in the mine.

The first team members who arrived provided technical advice and support whilst Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service set up an initial rigging system to allow a paramedic to give pain relief and insulation from the cold, and once the casualty was stabilised, further CSRT mine rescue team members set up a high-directional system and created closer anchor points inside the mine itself. Once set up, team members and a firefighter then packaged the casualty in a SKED (confined space stretcher) and with a team member acting as a stretcher attendant the operation began to haul them out of the mine. Upon reaching a constriction in the mine, the stretcher attendant had to transfer to a separate rope system, transferring back onto the stretcher system once this had been cleared. Further team members ran the hoisting system from the top of the mine, also running a deviation to prevent any rope rub in the difficult evacuation.

Once the casualty and attendant were safely up onto the drive of the mine, the fire service were able to transfer the injured male to a scoop stretcher to be moved up to the surface. From there HM Coastguard continued the evacuation and Coastguard Rescue 924 winched him to hospital. The multi-agency rescue operation took over five hours and was attended by six Mines Rescue members and six Surface members.

[23] SEARCH – Redruth, 06/09/2017 20:10 hrs

Early evening, team search managers were requested to advise the police in the ongoing search for a missing 40-year-old despondent female in the Redruth area. After discussing the various search options available, west section members were called out to search small areas of woodland near Scorrier, with east section members also put on stand-by to assist. As the first team members were en route to the RV the missing female was located safe and well and the team were stood down.

[22] SEARCH – Penryn, 17/08/2017 01:44 hrs

Early morning the team were called-out to search for a despondent 25-year-old male, missing in the Penryn area since late evening. With Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service searching the banks of the Penryn River and Coastguard helicopter Rescue 924 on scene, the team were tasked to search areas of open ground along the river. As the first team members were arriving at the RV the missing male returned home and all personnel were stood down.