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16th June 2007 MAJOR SEARCH FOR MISSING SOLDIER
Teesdale & Weardale Search & Mountain Rescue Team are one of three Teams still involved in the search for the 17 year old soldier who went missing whilst on exercise on Hipswell Moor West of Catterick Garrison yesterday (Friday). It is understood that the soldier was swept away while trying to ford Risedale Beck.
The Teesdale Team were called out in the early afternoon (Friday) to assist Swaledale and RAF Leeming Mountain Rescue Teams as the extent of the search became aparant. North Yorkshire Police, the Military Police, the Army and RAF Search and Rescue helicopters were also involved.
Dave Bartles-Smith Teesdale Team Leader said "Initially we deployed Mountain Rescue Search Dogs followed up with Mountain Rescue Search Groups to cover the areas downstream from the position the soldier was last seen. The beck level at this time was exceptionall high, possibly chest deep in places that could normally be crossed on foot and moving very quickly. During the next few hours the level dropped considerably which resulted in the Groups having to search the same areas a number of times". The search continued untill nightfall with no sign of the missing soldier.
The search has resumed this morning (Saturday) with additional assistance from other North East Mountain Rescue Teams and Mountain Rescue Search dogs. Dave Bartles-Smith said "Today we will consentrate the search on areas covered yesterday now the beck level has dropped and in surrounding areas which were then underwater".
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