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.

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.