The team were called today (5/12/17) at approximately 1500hrs.to search for a vulnerable 15 yr. old boy who had become separated from his school party during a visit to Hamsterley forest.
The teenager, who had been sitting on his own for lunch disappeared at about 1400hrs. Initial expectations were that he would be located fairly quickly, however as darkness fell fears for his safety grew and more help was called for. By early evening TWSMRT had 22 team members in the forest with 3 vehicles, assisted by 15 members of Cleveland MRT with 2 vehicles,15 members of Swaledale MRT with 2 vehicles, 19 police officers, 2 Red cross vehicles, fire & rescue personnel with 3 vehicles AND, the coastguard helicopter from Humberside which had to refuel at Durham Tees valley before returning to perform a second search ! The emergency services were also assisted by forestry commission personnel and Durham County council workers.
At 2200hrs the teams took a short break in Hamsterley village hall where volunteers provided refreshments. As the teams headed back into the forest at around 22.30, news came through that he had been spotted in a plantation by forestry workers who had been driving the network of access roads. The teenager was picked up and taken to safety.
At the post search debrief the young man came and shook hands with the searchers, seemingly non the worse for spending 8 hrs. alone in a cold dark forest, thanking them and appearing very happy to have been saved !
Notes For Editor Teesdale
& Weardale Search & Mountain Rescue Team are affiliated to the "Mountain
Rescue - England and Wales". We provide a Search and Rescue service throughout
County Durham and beyond primarily for the Police but also for the other emergency
services. All Team members are volunteers and we rely on monies raised by ourselves
as a registered charity to run the Team. Further details regarding our latest
callouts and Team information can be found on our website www.twsmrt.org.uk