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Callouts 2015

Displaying items by tag: exeter

Callout 09/2019 -  Primley Woods, Paignton 17:08 26th March 2019

Dartmoor Rescue was called to assist in a search for a suicidal male in the Primley Woods area of Paignton. Shortly after the arrival at the RV the male was located outside our intended search area

Callout 08/2019 -  Harefoot Cross, Holwell Down 14:17 24th March 2019

The team were called at 1417 on Sunday 24th March to assist a woman reporting that she was stuck in a bog in the Haytor area. A team deployed from our Templer Way Challenge fundraising event that was taking place at the time, and were stood down en route as the woman managed to self-rescue.

Callout 07/2019 - Pynes Hill / Ludwell valley, Exeter 00:56 9th March 2019

Overnight we have been in Exeter alongside our colleagues at North Dartmoor Search and Rescue, assisting Devon and Cornwall Police, to locate a male which they are concerned for his wellbeing.

Concern had been rasied by a member of the public earlier in the evening when they disturbed the male who seemed intent on taking his own life. The alarm was raised he after ran off.

Mystery surrounds disappearance of a man disturbed trying to take his own life

Police officers, dog units and a Police helicopter were used alongside Ashburton and Okehampton Dartmoor Search and Rescue Teams but without any idea of who we were looking for or the direction of travel, it was always going to be a difficult tasking.

The Dartmoor teams searched the Ludwell Valley together throughout the night and were eventually stood down at around 5:30am with no further clues or sightings of the individual.



Published in Callouts 2019

Heightened alert for Dartmoor rescuers

  • STANDBY - 13 Nov – Exeter - Near Miss – The team were called by D&C Police approx. 06:15 this morning to assist in the search for a vulnerable female missing in the Exeter area.  The search managers concluded that there was insufficient information to necessitate deployment for DSRTA members, and so elected to wait for further (mobile phone) intel from the Police in order to narrow the possible search areas.  At approx 10:30 the misper was located on an industrial estate near to where she had been found the previous day having gone missing.
  • STANDBY - 26 Oct – Babbacombe – Near Miss: approx. 07:20 D&C contacted the SM’s regarding a high-risk vulnerable missing person in the Torquay area.  The MCA was in attendance to cover coastal areas identified through a mobile phone ping test, which our Duty Search Manager deferred to in the absence of defined inland areas for our volunteers to search. A short while after, the misper was located safe and well by Devon and Cornwall Police.
  • STANDBY - 25 Oct – Sidmouth – Near Miss: just after 19:00 last Wed Devon & Cornwall Police contacted our team Search Managers regarding a potential high-risk missing person in the Sidmouth area.  The Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA) was on-scene and searching coastal areas and so our duty Search Manager postponed our involvement until these areas were exhausted or further intelligence suggested areas we would add value to searching.  Shortly after initial notification, the misper was located at a member of the family’s residence in Dorset.
Published in Standby 2017
Monday, 04 June 2018 09:01

Exeter teenager found by Police

Exeter teenager found by Police

Callout 15 / 2018 - 00:09  3rd June 2018

 The team were called out at 0009 on Sunday 3rd June to search for a vulnerable missing person in the Heavitree area of Exeter.

Shortly afterwards, the team were stood down whilst our volunteers were en route as the missing person was located by Devon and Cornwall Police.

We hope the individual gets the care they need and get on the road to recovery.

Published in Callouts 2018
Saturday, 26 May 2018 15:06

Cause for concern for missing Exeter teenager

Cause for concern for missing Exeter teenager

Callout 14 / 2018 - 02:58  26th May 2018

14 team members were called out shortly before 03:00 this morning to search for a missing 13-year-old in Exeter.

Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton Landrover at the Exeter callout this morning

We were fortunate to have the support of 7 colleagues from North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team and a search dog from SARDA.

Several areas of park, farm and woodland were searched. The teams were completing final areas when the missing person was located outside our search area.

A happy outcome and an early start to the holiday weekend for our volunteers.

Team members checking search maps in advance of the search in Exeter

Published in Callouts 2018
Thursday, 15 March 2018 10:45

Mountain rescuers involved in search in Exeter

Mountain rescuers involved in search in Exeter

Callout 10 / 2018 - 18:31  14th March 2018

Rescuers search for vulnerable missing person in Exeter City Centre

Photo: Devonlive

The team were deployed searching open areas and watercourses in Exeter yesterday evening searching for a 50 year old vulnerable male. 

Working alongside colleagues from North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team and Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service urban search and rescue team, the team were initially deployed to search areas of the River Exe in and around Cowley Bridge and along the Exe valley towards Uption Pyne. Following further intelligence gained by the Police we were relocated to the city centre based from the Waitrose store in Gladstone Road.

The missing person was not located during our phase of the search which was undertaken in very wet weather.   The good news is however that he was located around midnight by Police and a family member after making a call to his family. He was wet but otherwise unharmed.

Published in Callouts 2018
Saturday, 03 March 2018 15:55

Haldon Hill snow major incident deployment

Callouts 7, 8 and 9 of 2018.

CALLOUT 07 / 2018 - 28th February - 3rd March 2018

Members keeping traffic moving near Chudleigh

'Storm Emma' and the 'Beast from the East' weather events caused a Met office Red Warning to be issued for a majority of the County of Devon and the southwest this week. As one of the agencies that form part of the Haldon Hill Emergency Snow Plan' along with the ful-time emergency services, Devon County Council and the Highways Agency, we were placed on heightened alert for the duration of the expected disruption.

Following major incidents in 2009 and 2010 that caused 100's of motorists to be stranded on Haldon and Telegraph Hills, lessons had been learnt and all agencies were very well prepared for the expected snow and blizzards that arrived this time around. The A38 especially is a major artery into the southwest and every effort would, and indeed was, made to keep the road clear.

Our Search Managers were actively involved in planning meetings leading up to Thursday and in preparation, our Incident Control Vehicle was taken to Kennford on Wednesday in advance of the expected bad weather on the Thursday afternoon. Our team volunteers were on heightened alert and were deployed to 3 different rendezvous (RV's), at strategic points on the West and East side of the hill at noon on Thursday ready to be deployed where needed to keep the A38 flowing. Very quickly the weather deteriorated as forecast and 2 teams were deployed to the Haldon Forest Diner at the top of Haldon Hill around 2pm.

Almost to the minute, the weather deteriorated rapidly at 3pm as forecast and problems very quickly began to occur. Haldon and Telegraph Hills rise rapidly to their apex and it's this rise that causes the issues with traffic in snow conditions.

The emergency services closed the A380 Torbay Road quickly after the snowstorm began as planned so that all efforts could be focused on the A38. Shortly after, lorries and cars started to experience traction problems climbing the hill and congestion started to form. In the 2009/10 events the gritters and snowploughs couldn't get through to clear the road as their progress was blocked by stranded vehicles. This time the emergency services released traffic in batches and, apart from a few issues, managed to keep the gritters and snowploughs running for most of the time which minimised the number of stranded vehicles.

Stranded traffic on the A38 at Haldon Hill, Exeter

Our role in the plan is primarily to undertake welfare checks on stranded motorists and make sure any medical events are highlighted for treatment and hypothermia is avoided. We also kept an eye on any abandoned vehicles to keep track on anybody who had decided to leave their vehicles and make sure they were safe.

As darkness fell limited traffic was still able to traverse the hill with considerable care although many vehicles did experience issues. From our base at Kennford and Haldon Forest Diner, our Landrovers were able to ferry team members to wherever they were needed to facilitate rescues alongside the Fire Service to help get stranded vehicles moving that were causing obstructions to traffic flow. 

One particular area for problems was the westside of the hill on the Westbound carriageway heading down towards Chudleigh. Members and the Fire Service helped to get things moving again and the road was kept open.

Eastbound there were also problems from the Teign Valley/Chudleigh Knighton junction towards Harcombe bends on the hill which also proved a problem for HGV's with at least one jack-knifing.

Around 1am members were finally told to stand down and they faced their own challenge of getting back to their homes safely.

On Friday, members were then again deployed to help the Ambulance service with reaching patients in rural difficult to access areas before finally being stood down in the early evening.

Saturday began the task of getting team vehicles and equipment back to our base, equipment repacked and readied for the next callout,  and members reunited with their vehicles.

Our Team Leader 'Keith Lambeth' wrote the following message to members, family, friends and supporters of the team about our deployment. 

"It's been a long few days with team members being deployed in some cases from midnight on Tuesday through to today. Our main efforts have been welfare and safety checks on Haldon (as well as other tasks to keep traffic moving). Followed by a day of assisting SWAST with accessing emergencies in remote areas and team doctors assessing cases to reduce the burden on ambulance and hospital services."

"I have three thank-you's to pass on. 
Firstly Thank you to all of the team members who have answered every request made of them with cheerfulness and resilience. I am prouder than ever to be a member of this team and my colleagues constantly set a standard that I aspire to, even when communication isn't clear and conditions are poor their patience and stamina are awesome."

"Secondly Thank you to our Families and friends who make it possible for us to walk away from our lives to do this and then appear hours later for baths and showers! Our supporters in Dart2Zero who underpin all we do. Over the last three days, we simply couldn't have operated without the hospitality of Haldon Forest Diner, The Dartmoor Lodge and Moorgate veterinary practice thank you too!"

A very big thank you to Haldon Forest Diner for letting us use their premises as a base for our volunteers

"Lastly and maybe most importantly thank you to everyone who made sacrifices and stayed off the roads when asked this week (yes, I know not everyone could)."

"The work hasn't finished for us just yet and today we are reuniting members with their cars, checking, cleaning drying and recharging equipment and then we will be looking for some quality time with families. Providng the phone doesn't ring..."

"Thank you all for support and kindness."

CALLOUT 08 / 2018 - 2nd March 2018

The team were deployed on Friday 2nd March to assist SWAST during the extreme weather conditions affecting the Southwest.  13 members were involved in assisting SWAST with 4x4 vehicle access in hard-to-reach areas around our patch for medical issues.  One 85yr old gentleman was assessed and evacuated to RD&E; another 86yr old female was assessed and stabilised without having to seek hospital treatment by a team Doctor

Over the 1st and 2nd March, 40 members were involved in the snow incident.

CALLOUT 09 / 2018 - 12:32 4th March 2018

The team were called to assist an overdue kayaker at Newbridge on Sun afternoon the 4th March. The kayaker had come out of their boat whilst descending the upper Dart. Members started to head towards the RV at Beltor Corner to deploy into the Upper Dart Valley and begin a search. Within 15mins of the callout being initiated the kayaker phoned to say that they were safe and well having walked out and the team were stood down.

Published in Callouts 2018
Thursday, 15 February 2018 20:46

Body of missing male found in search

Body of missing male found in search

Callout 06 / 2018 - 12:24  15th February 2018

At lunchtime today our team, backed by our colleagues at North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team, were called out to assist Devon & Cornwall Police with a missing person search at Longdown on the outskirts of Exeter.

Ashburton swift water rescue specialists searching for a missing male outside Exeter

The missing male, a student at University of Exeter, was last seen in the early hours of Tuesday morning at an Exeter nightclub, and Police had become increasingly concerned as his disappearance was out of character.

Around 3:30pm this afternoon, a team of our swift water rescue specialists discovered the body of a young man within our search area.

Formal identification has yet to take place but the family of the missing person have been informed.

We are all deeply saddened by the outcome of this search and send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the young man at this very difficult time.

Published in Callouts 2018
Monday, 29 January 2018 23:34

Vulnerable teenager goes missing near Exeter

A vulnerable teenager goes missing near Exeter

Callout 05 / 2018 - 23:02  29th January 2018

Devon and Cornwall Police requested assistance from the team in the search for a missing vulnerable teenager to the south east of Exeter. Shortly after the callout was issued and members were travelling to the rendezvous, the team was stood down as the teenager had been found by a Police dog.


Published in Callouts 2018
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 11:24

Prepared for a severe weather event on Haldon Hill

Prepared for a severe weather event on Haldon Hill

Following 2 high profile severe weather events on the A38 and A380 at Haldon and Telegraph Hills in 2009 and 2010, (the latter event involved Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton rescuing motorists), where drivers and their passengers were stranded for up to 8 hours following heavy snowfall, emergency response agencies have collaborated on a response plan so as to be fully prepared should a similar weather event happen again.

stranded motorists due to the snow on Haldon Hill in 2010

Photo credit: Pete Sherman, DSRT Ashburton. DSRT response to Haldon Hill snow event 2010

The first event overnight on the 5th February 2009 saw around 200 people being rescued from their stranded vehicles after a sharp snowfall of up to 12 inches occurred in a matter of hours. 

Team member Al Pewsey experienced the event first hand (before he joined the team) as he travelled over Haldon in his car on the A38 that night. 

‘I left Exmouth in the pouring rain which turned to sleet as I approached Splatford Split at Kennford. I could see vehicle hazard warning lights at the top of Telegraph Hill on the Torquay road but the A38 looked clear. As I turned the corner after the A38/A380 split I was presented with vehicles that had ground to a halt as the sleet had turned to snow due to the increase in altitude.’

Stuck in traffic on the A38 at Haldon Hill in the snow of 2009

Photo credit: Al Pewsey, Haldon Hill snow event 2009.

‘The snow was settling very quickly and vehicles just weren’t getting anywhere. I managed to manoeuvre my Mini through the traffic chaos until I reached the front of blockage and a stuck lorry driver offered to give me a push which gave me enough momentum to get over the top. As I looked in my rear view mirror as I reached the top of the hill by the racecourse, I was the last car to make it over.’

‘I continued down the other side and all I could see were the crash barriers either side of the road as the road was under a thick blanket of snow. I knew as I descended the hill the snow would clear - which it did - and I was able to get home safely.

Travelling the A38 over Haldon Hill in a blizzard and thick snow was quite an experience

Photo credit: Al Pewsey, Haldon Hill snow event 2009.

The Highways Agency and other services struggled with the conditions as snowploughs and gritters couldn’t get through the traffic chaos which meant the roads couldn’t be cleared hence stranding motorists. Fortunately there were no serious injuries on either occasion and agencies have learnt from the experience and are now far better prepared.

The resulting ‘Haldon Hill Severe Weather Response Plan’ involves many of the statutory authorities including the Highways Agency, Devon County Council and the 999 emergency services, as well as voluntary organisations such as Dartmoor Search and Rescue and Devon 4x4 response. 

Part of this plan is to identify any potential severe weather events that may affect the major road arteries over Haldon in advance and assemble the various agencies ‘just in case’ to makes sure everybody is in the right place and ready to act should it be needed.

Our team search managers were called to a briefing at 4am this morning with all the relevant agencies, and positioned our incident control vehicle at Kennford ‘just in case’. Callout members were put on heightened alert last night ready to respond should we be needed so we could be in place ready to help before the rush hour commenced this morning.

Fortunately, the plan wasn’t required and we were stood down, for now, but are still on alert should the weather deteriorate later in the week.

DSRT Ashburton respond to Haldon Hill snow event 2010

Team leader Keith Lambeth said ‘The Haldon Hill response plan has learnt from the various agencies being caught out in 2009 and 2010 and means agencies are much better prepared now.’

‘However, drivers still need to keep abreast of the local weather forecast and reports, and plan their journeys accordingly and only travel where absolutely necessary if adverse weather is predicted. If you need to travel, make sure you carry in your vehicle spare food, drink,warm clothing and supplies such as a sleeping bag or blanket, and clothing for bad weather including boots, so that you can keep yourself and your passengers safe should you get stranded.’ 

‘Cars cool down very quickly once the ignition is switched off and without anything to keep you warm, you are putting yourself and your passengers at risk.’

Weather forecast for Exeter: XC Weather forecast for Exeter

Weather Radar: Net Weather Radar

Published in News
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