Mountain Rescue Teams from across the North of England have been involved today (Sunday) in a major search to locate a man missing from home for over a week.
Michael Bell, 40 has been missing from his home in Barnard Castle, County Durham since Friday 6th Oct. His car was located on a lonely road high in the Pennines on the Durham, Cumbria, North Yorkshire border near the famous Tan Hill Inn (the highest inn in England)
Rescue Teams from the North East Search and Rescue Association where attending a training weekend in nearby Teesdale. This turned into a real incident when they were asked by Durham Police to search an area of dense plantation near to were Mr Bells car was found. Eight rescue teams took part in the search from Cumbria, Co Durham, North Yorkshire and Northumberland. More than 80 mountain rescue volunteers and 3 search dogs spent 7 hours searching the 1 square mile of plantation.
Inspector Kevin Tuck from Durham Police said " I must thank all members of the rescue teams who turned out today to assist us in our enquiries. The task was very difficult due to the density of the woodland. At times they had to crawl on their hands and knees to make progress"
At approximately 2.30pm a body was located within the plantation and was recovered the half mile back to the road by Kirby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team. At this stage the body has not been positively identified.
During the search a 999 call reported a young lady suffering from possible hypothermia whilst taking part in a Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition close to the search area. Mountain rescue control requested the Durham Police helicopter which was assisting in the original search to proceed to the scene. The young lady was helicoptered back to the Tan Hill Inn and given medical assistance by Swaledale Rescue Team personnel. Other team members escorted the remaining members of the group back on foot.
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