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Red Cross emergency teams hunt for missing man

24 April 2010

FESS hovercraft© InfoBritish Red Cross emergency response teams were today called in to search a Scottish river in the hunt for a missing man.

Twelve specially trained swift water rescue volunteers covered a mile and a half long stretch of the River Thurso looking for the 44-year-old who was reported missing on Wednesday. They searched an area of the river that passes through the town of Thurso, about a mile inland from the harbour.

The Inverness-based Red Cross teams were unable to launch their rescue boats because of extremely low tides but were able to use a hovercraft.

A thorough search

Other volunteers waded in a line across the icy river to conduct a painstaking search with poles. In areas of deeper water, team members attached to lifelines used snorkelling gear to search the pools.

Ian Rideout, Red Cross operations director for Northern Scotland, said:

“Our specialist swift water rescue unit was called in to assist Northern Constabulary's search. Because of low tides, the river was about four feet deep and the water relatively clear, which enabled our teams to wade, probing under the banks and in other snagging areas with poles.

It took several hours – until about 2pm to cover the stretch of water. We are now retracing our steps in the opposite direction. So far, we have found nothing.”

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