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'They were wet cold and hopelessly lost. In the fading light and driving rain one man could just make out the fearful,
pained expression in his brother-in-law’s face. In the total blackness, gale force winds and near arctic temperatures, they tried
to take bearings but gentle becks had become loud, raging torrents. They seemed to be trapped. At 10pm a weak signal appeared on the
mobile phone; a chance to get help; a call to home, just a bit of information but the signal was lost. At the Rescue Centre in Barnard
Castle, Team Leader and Police worked urgently to try and piece together the position of the men. Soon after midnight twenty volunteers
and their search dog Meg, were beginning to search, moving westwards on both sides of the Tees and the Pennine Way from Cronkley.
Seven hours later team members were wading through the treacherous waters of Swarfbeck, trying to keep sight of Meg's black and
white marking as she lead the team to the missing men. Everyone huddled together in a large survival tent as the men were
treated for hypothermia and a Sea King helicopter was summoned from RAF Boulmer.'
The searchers that night had passed the spot where, in June 1968, a young man had slipped and drowned while crossing Maize Beck -
that event that led to the formation of the search and rescue team. Now many years later, the team provides a highly skilled and
efficient service to those lost or endangered in the Dales and team's skills in locating vulnerable and missing people are also
frequently used by the police in areas away from the uplands. However it is in the harsh, demanding conditions of the North Pennines
that the team holds it’s monthly
training to hone and develop the teamwork necessary to provide this highly respected yet entirely voluntary service.
Team members also train on weekday evenings and the extent of skill and knowledge required of a team member has grown considerably over the years.
In addition to the core skills required to operate in such environments, Team members are trained in casualty care, crag rescue techniques,
communications, search techniques, search management and searching rivers.
Many team members adopt specialist interests and go on to gain more advanced skills and knowledge in these areas.