The team was called at 13:30 on Wednesday 21st March by Dyfed Powys Police, through North Wales Police, to assist a walker who had become lost after getting separated from their group. They were in mobile phone contact with the team and reported that they were stuck on steep ground somewhere high in the Berwyn hills.
Whilst we had a rough idea where they were we didn’t have a detailed location, so this turned the job from a quick pick up to a full search.
NEWSAR called in assistance from our four legged friends (and their handlers!) at SARDA Wales (the Search and Rescue Dogs Association).
It was thought that the missing person may not be too far away from the road, so we adopted a search technique that has been used previously on several occasions. Whilst sounding the emergency siren we drove a team vehicle around the valleys surrounding the location where the missing person’s car was parked. The missing person was able to tell us by phone when they heard the siren and which direction it was coming from. Once this was done we had a good idea of the location and a ground search was mounted by NEWSAR team members, who were joined a little later by a SARDA handler and Dog.
Within an hour of deploying from the nearest road head, the missing person was located by members of the NEWSAR search team. It was found they were fit enough to be walked off the hill. Team members then escorted them down, with the assistance of the SARDA handler.
The job was completed at 18:00.
This is a good example of when a mobile phone can be a life saver in the hills. Do carry one, with plenty of charge and credit, but please don’t rely on it as there are plenty of places where they don’t work. Of course you should avoid using it frivolously to call for assistance, but when there is a real emergency we would rather you had one.