In case of emergency, dial 112 or 999 and ask for the Police

Teenage boys rescued wet and cold from south Dartmoor

Callout 29/2018 - Redlake. 16:11 24th November 2018

At 16:11 today Dartmoor Search and Rescue were called out to rescue four teenage boys from near Red Lake Dartmoor. The boys all from the south east of England, had previously walked in the Surrey Hills and the New Forrest and came to Dartmoor looking for a challenge.

20km kilometres into a 30km walk they became lost, then darkness fell. The boys were lucky be on a part of Dartmoor where they could use their mobile phones. SARLOC technology was used by the police to obtain their location and the rescue team were called.

Their location was just north of Redlake ford and fortunately for them, close to the Puffing Billy Track, a track along which Landrovers could be driven.

Two rescue team Landrovers, along with Landrovers from Dartmoor Search and Rescue Plymouth,  were dispatched and a foot team then sent to collect them from their location. They were fit and well but very cold and very wet. After receiving hot drinks and food they were then escorted to the Landrovers for the drive back to their car.

Ian Lowcock, DSRT Ashburton Search Manager, said: “With the wind and rain it would have been a difficult night for a prolonged search but knowing their location meant we could get to them quickly. They had set themselves a challenging walk on Dartmoor but had not anticipated the difficulties of navigating on Dartmoor.”

Published in Callouts 2018

Walkers unprepared for rapid deterioration in Dartmoor weather

Callout 25/2018 - Redlake. 08:46 11th September 2018

At 08:46 on Tuesday morning, the team received a request for help from 2 stranded walkers in the Redlake area of the south moor.

A father and daughter had left for a camping trip on the Monday. Overnight the weather deteriorated with rain and both the visibility and the temperature dropping. Becoming cold and disorientated they called for help.

We were in mobile phone contact with the walkers and managed to pinpoint their location using SAR-loc. Instructing them to stay where they were, we sent our 2 Landrover ambulances up the puffing billy track to locate and evacuate them.

They were located by our Landrover on the track to the south of Redlake, very cold, sitting on their camping mats and sheltering using their tent flysheet as a makeshift shelter.

We escorted them off the moor to a member's house where they had a hot drink and warmed up before they were returned to their car at Shipley bridge.

Our duty Search manager Dave Underhill said:

'They were caught out by the change in the weather which deteriorated overnight. Conditions were very different on the Monday morning from when they set out meaning their summer clothing was inadequate in keeping them warm. The poor visibility added to the problem and they did the right thing in calling for help and staying put so we could pick them up.'

'We are sure they have learnt a valuable lesson and we hope will continue to enjoy the moor in the future better prepared for Dartmoor's notorious reputation for rapid changes in the weather.'

Published in Callouts 2018

Cries for help cause alarm at Becka Brook

Callout 20 and 21 / 2018 - 8th JULY 2018

It was a busy weekend for our team and dart2ZERO volunteers.

After spending most of the weekend fundraising at the quite amazing Historic Vehicle Gathering at Powderham Castle, we had to leave early on Sunday to respond to a missing walker callout at 3:45 pm.

Callout 20/2018 - Redlake, Dartmoor. 15:45 8th July 2018

The walker and their companion were camping in Dartmoor National Park for the weekend. Having run out of water on the Saturday, and not trusting the water quality near their campsite at Redlake, they left to find water on the Sunday morning and became separated and the alarm was raised.

Team members deployed to Avon Dam Reservoir and by Landrover to Redlake along with Devon and Cornwall Police to begin a search. A National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter was also used in the search.

Police and Dartmoor Rescue Landrovers looking for a missing walker at Redlake

Shortly after we were deployed one of our foot teams heading out from Avon Dam located the walker who was dehydrated but otherwise fit and well.

Shortly after, as team vehicles and members returned home, we were called again by Devon and Cornwall Police after walkers reported hearing a call for help from below Smallacombe Rocks near the Becka Brook between Haytor and Houndtor. 

Callout 20/2018 - Becka Brook, Dartmoor. 19:24 8th July 2018

The woods below Smallacombe Rocks are thick with bracken and trees and difficult to search

Although the walkers couldn’t see the individual, as the calls were coming from the dense area of bracken and woods in the valley, the person requiring help reported being able to see them and was in need of assistance and sounded very weak.

Foot teams searched the valley between Greator Rocks and Smallacombe Rocks until a just after 10 pm with no further contact from the individual. NPAS was again engaged along with a Devon and Cornwall Police search dog and handler.

A second group of walkers reported to us they had given water to somebody who could have been the person we were looking for walking out just before we started searching. However, without any firm confirmation, we needed to search the area thoroughly just in case.

 The sun setting behind Houndtor as our volunteers look for a walker reported in difficulty

Having covered all likely search areas, we were stood down around 11 pm and returned home after a spending most of the weekend on team duties. 

All part of being a volunteer in a professional search and rescue team.

Published in Callouts 2018
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