News & Incidents

Call outs

The team responds to about 30 incidents a year. A simple evacuation from the moors or woodland might only take a couple of hours, however a missing person search can be anywhere from 1 hour to several days and nights, with each operational period normally lasting up to 8 hours.

In the event of a call out, our team Incident Controllers are contacted by the police, fire or ambulance services, and if we are required to respond, a text message is sent to all of the team. A large number of the call outs are “non mountain rescue” – searching for vulnerable missing people in rural locations.

We regularly work with our neighbouring teams from West Cornwall, Dartmoor and Exmoor, as well as specialist resources from the Mountain Rescue Search Dogs – England.

30 sep

Following several days of searching, the team reconvened again at King's Wood at 1700 hrs following some new information to Devon & Cornwall Police in the search for Anthony Haley.

Twenty volunteers met with St Austell Police and searched further areas of the woodland. Sadly during the search, a body was located by our search teams. He was confirmed to have passed away by our team doctor.

Team members then worked in to the night, carrying out a technical recovery on difficult and steep ground.

It is not the outcome we all hoped for, and our thoughts are with the friends and family of Anthony.

We would like to thank all of the support of the public during this incident, from sharing of appeals through to offers of help, and ultimately the providing of new information which helped us to locate him. Without your help, we wouldn't be able to do what we do.

22, 23, 24, 25 sep

For the past couple of days we've been involved in a major search with Devon & Cornwall Police in the St Austell area looking for a high risk missing 42 year old male - Anthony Haley.

His work vehicle was located on Wednesday and St Austell Police conducted initial searches and contacted the team for further assistance. This included searches of extensive steep woodland and countryside in the Pentewan Valley which continued throughout Thursday and in to the evening, and then all of Friday. St Austell Coastguard and Mevagissey Coastguard teams, National Police Air Service HQ police helicopter and Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England have all been involved in the efforts to locate him in coastal and inland areas.

12 sep

At around 10am this morning the team was contacted by Devon & Cornwall Police to assist West Cornwall Search & Rescue Team with an ongoing search in the area south west of Penzance.

With 52 search areas to cover, foot teams from WCSAR and ECSRT worked throughout the day into this evening.

As of 7pm the teams have been stood down pending further Police enquiries.

5 sep

The team were called out to a rescue initially reported as being near to Crowdy Reservoir. A 41 year old female horse rider had been knocked unconscious having been thrown from her horse.

Our incident controller established that the incident was further over towards Rough Tor and the team was deployed, meeting South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust at the car park and taking one of their paramedics directly to the scene where there was also a community first responder in attendance.

The weather at the location was on the limits for the Cornwall Air Ambulance so their critical care paramedics jumped on board Maritime and Coastguard Agency Rescue helicopter 924 and attended the scene. The lady who was still unconscious was placed on a team stretcher and carried to the helicopter which flew her direct to Derriford for further treatment.

We're pleased to report that she was discharged later that day with little more than bruising!

This was another great example of the different rescue services in the county working together to make sure the casualty got the help they needed.

4 sep

Devon & Cornwall Police requested assistance from the team to search for a high risk missing 47 year old male.

Working alongside St Austell Police , 16 team members attended and within a couple of hours of searching the surrounding woodland, a police dog handler located a person believed to be the missing man. Our team doctor attended, but sadly he had already passed away.

We remained on scene to assist police and carried him back to the waiting ambulance, standing down at around 5pm.

Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.

1 sep

Devon & Cornwall Police called the team out this afternoon to assist South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust with a rescue at Gold Diggings on Bodmin Moor.

The initial report was that a 42 year old male had jumped in to the water and sustained possible spinal injuries. Devon Air Ambulance Trust arrived on scene and assessed and packaged the casualty, and team members, Liskeard Police and a Hazardous Area Response Team from Exeter then commenced the carry off back to the car park on a team stretcher.

He was transported to Derriford Hospital for further treatment.

17 aug

The team were tasked by Devon & Cornwall Police to assist South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust with an injured 12 year old who was reported to have fallen 40ft near the main rapid at Golitha Falls and suffered a head injury.

Our first members were on scene within ten minutes of the call and quickly worked with Liskeard Police to locate the casualty. Critical Care Paramedics from two Devon Air Ambulance Trust helicopters were also in attendance and assessed the the boy who remarkably only suffered relatively minor injuries for the distance he had fallen. Both aircraft had to land a distance away from the casualty due to the steep woodland.

He was evacuated by team members and air ambulance staff and conveyed to Derriford Hospital as a precaution.

We wish him a swift recovery.

2 aug

We were called to RV at Minions to search for a high risk missing 28 year old female. Devon & Cornwall Police deployed a dog handler and NPAS police helicopter, and we sent foot teams and an MRSDE team on to the moors to locate her.

Shortly in to the search, following a call from a member of the public - NPAS located the female at Tregarrick Tor and landed on scene. They escorted her to a land rover where she was taken back off the moor to a place of safety.

We'd like to thank the public for their assistance on both searches this week which resulted in both people getting the help they need

1 aug

Devon and Cornwall Police requested the assistance of the team to search for a missing 91 year old missing person with dementia from Padstow. Working alongside Padstow Coastguard, Newquay Coastguard and National Police Air Service HQ helicopter, we deployed foot teams and a Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England dog team to cover woodland and surrounding countryside, whilst police searched the town centre.

We stood down at 0430 hrs having cleared our allocated areas. A couple of hours later, a member of the public phoned the police having come across the male on a side street.

13 july

This morning we deployed on to Bodmin Moor to assist South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust with a 31 year old male with a leg injury. Initial information was that he was alone and had applied a tourniquet, having cut himself whilst jumping in to the Gold Diggings quarry when going for a solo swim.

The first team member on scene liaised with Devon & Cornwall Police who were also in attendance and they set about a hasty search to locate him, given the nature of the reported injuries. He was located on the track between The Hurlers Stone Circle and Gold Diggings, and after an initial assessment was placed straight in to the team members 4x4 vehicle and taken to the waiting ambulance at the car park.

12 july

In our second callout of the day, the team was called out by Devon & Cornwall Police to assist South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust with a male who had sustained an extremely painful dislocation of his knee. Working alongside paramedics, the casualty was stabilised and packaged in a casualty bag and placed on our wheeled Alpine stretcher for the 1km carry back through woodland to the nearest road.

Team members finally stood down at around 2am having cleaned all the kit and vehicles ready for the next call out.

We wish him a speedy recovery, and would like to thank his friends for their help during the call out.

12 july

The team was called out by Devon & Cornwall Police to assist South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust with a 63 year old male with a lower leg injury who had fallen on the approach path to the falls.

Being a short distance over easy ground, he was assisted back to the car park by a fire crew who were also in attendance.We wish him a speedy recovery.


27 june

Today was very wet however three intrepid ducks decided it was too much for even them after they were found at the bottom of a 25 ft shaft on the outskirts of Callington. They'd actually been there a couple of days and weren't able to get themselves back out so a small quack squad of members headed up to help them out.

After the shaft had been assessed by our Team Leader and Deputy Team Leader (who is also a mining engineer), we sent down one member in very fowl weather with an animal rescue bag to retrieve said ducks, who were eggstatic to be rescued.

21 june

At around 1700 hrs the team reconvened at White Cross, near Newquay alongside Devon & Cornwall Police

and West Cornwall Search & Rescue Team to check further areas in the search for the missing 46 year old male we had been searching for the previous day.

Sadly, a couple of hours in to the call out, a person was located deceased within dense woodland by a joint WCSAR and police team.

Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the gentleman

20 june

At around 1630 hrs our water rescue team was called to assist West Cornwall Search & Rescue Team with a search for a 46 year old high risk missing male at a caravan site at White Cross near Newquay.

Devon & Cornwall Police and National Police Air Service HQ had been searching the extensive site, however they required assistance with covering the extensive 13 large fishing lakes. With WCSAR covering the land and woodland, we covered the water margins and islands, deploying one water team. With police enquiries ongoing, we stood down at 2200 hrs.


25 may

Early yesterday morning, our search managers were contacted by Devon & Cornwall Police in relation to a high risk 32 year old missing male in the Bodmin area. After discussing the circumstances, a search strategy was agreed and officers from Bodmin Police , National Police Air Service HQ and police dog units conducted local enquiries and hasty searches, resulting in the person being safely located.

Throughout the search, the team were on standby should any search areas be required further away from the town.


22 may

At 1435 hrs, we were called out by Devon & Cornwall Police to search for a missing 90 year old male with dementia from Padstow. 22 team members responded to the call and we worked alongside Newquay Coastguard , Padstow Coastguard , Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England and National Police Air Service HQ

to divide up the Camel Trail, Saint's Way, coastal areas and farmland in to different search areas.

During the four hour search we stopped and spoke with lots of members of the public, passing the description and asking for sightings which managed to narrow down the area to a little way inland of Oldtown, which refocused our search efforts. With the word now very much out and lots of resources in the area, a local farmer located the gent in a confused state in a field.

A team cas carer attended with police, and other than a couple of minor grazes he was thankfully uninjured.

We wish him all the best and thank the public and our colleagues for their help during the search.


22 Apr

At about 1700 hrs the team was called to Bude to help Devon & Cornwall Police search for a missing 17 year old male. Eighteen team members deployed alongside a Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England dog team and numerous police resources and Bude Coastguard Rescue Team and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service who deployed a water rescue team from Barnstaple. Our teams covered local woodland and the canal area, and further assistance came in the form of Exmoor Search & Rescue Team who searched further north.

Fortunately, the missing male was located safe and well at around 2300 hrs by his friends nearby and returned home. The incident was a great example of the local community and various emergency services working together to cover a large area, and we'd particularly like to thank the young man's friends for their hard work.

27 feb

Late this afternoon the team received a request for assistance from SWAST in evacuating a young male who had fallen off his mountain bike and hit his head on the edge of Bodmin Moor near Minions.

Team members used our scoop stretcher and packaged him in a vacuum mattress on our Alpine Stretcher. While the team was carrying him to the awaiting ambulance, a member of the public informed us that a second male had fallen off his mountain bike nearby. Whilst the first evacuation was being carried out, team members made their way to the second casualty. fortunately the second male was able to walk to the ambulance and both casualties were taken to hospital for further treatment.

27 jan

At around 1130 hours we were called to search for a missing man and his dog on Bodmin Moor. They had set off earlier in the morning but had got disoriented in thick fog and rain and had dialled 999 to ask for help.

There was some initial confusion with the grid reference that had been provided, however working with local knowledge from the description given we started searching from Roughtor and near Louden hill working south over Harpur's downs and towards King Arthur's Hall. We were unable to contact him again as his phone battery had died but his vehicle was found near Stannon China Clay works.

After hours of searching we received an update that he had managed to make his way off the moor and was safe and well.

24 Jan

Overnight East Cornwall team along with other mountain rescue teams in the region assisted Devon & Cornwall Police by providing 4x4s and medical assistance during snow fall on the arterial routes over the higher moors. In previous years we've had drivers stuck in their vehicles for hours in the snow, so this time we had two crewed team vehicles on standby all night.

Despite dome snowfall on the moors in the early hours, the night passed without too many incidents and we stood down at 0530hrs. We used the time to have a bit of a coffee fuelled base tidying session.

3 jan

Team members had be sharpening up on their rope skills in Cheesewring Quarry practicing stretcher work over steep ground. this was interrupted at around 2pm when we had a request from the ambulance service to rescue a 13 year old lad with an ankle injury on steep ground to the north of Cardinham Woods.

Fortunately we were stood down quickly after the ambulance crew found they could get him back to the ambulance without the need of help from the team.