All posts by Luke Stonestreet

Lowland Rescue releases national incident database of missing persons callouts


Lowland Rescue releases national incident database of missing persons callouts

National figures on Search and Rescue have today been released by Lowland Rescue in their Association Incident Recording database (AIR).

When a vulnerable person goes missing, Lowland Rescue teams are called by the Police and can mobilise a team of volunteers within an hour. Highly skilled volunteers, trained to professional standards, then work in collaboration with the Police to identify search strategies and priority areas where to direct search efforts.

Figures show that the nearly 1700 members, grouped in 36 regional teams, contributed in total more than 40,000 person-hours in live searches, equivalent to 21 person-years of search time, in a total of 906 callouts. The teams also include over 40 fully trained air-scenting dogs, and 11 drones.

The majority of incidents in 2016 related to despondent individuals (33%), people with dementia (20%) or suicidal (17%). Callouts for males were more than twice as many as those for females (2.5:1).

This is the first annual report from AIR, which became live in January 2016. Although it is still in the initial stages, AIR is already being used to share information with other agencies, as appropriate, and to improve search planning.  Ultimately, better data saves lives.

Hampshire Search and Rescue (HANTSAR) currently has 110 volunteer members.  In 2016 it received 62 callouts (almost 7% of the National total), contributing 3742 person-hours (over 9% of the National total) in live searches

For further information on Hampshire Search and Rescue (HANTSAR) please go to:   and Search and Rescue

(The Association of Lowland Search and Rescue is the UK governing body for Lowland Rescue)

Hampshire Search and Rescue 2016 Stats below:

Recruiting now – next intake is Thursday 2nd March 2017.

Fancy joining us as an operational searcher?  Want to find out a bit more?

Our next recruitment evening is on Thursday 2nd March.

Booking is essential so please contact our Membership Secretary, Alison, at for more details.

We also need more people to help us with events and fundraising as support members – if this appeals to you there is no need to wait for a recruitment evening,  just contact Alison at the email address above.

High level water rescue qualifications achieved by HANTSAR’s specialist team.

High level water rescue qualifications achieved by HANTSAR’s specialist team.

Members of HANTSAR’s water rescue team recently attended an intensive 4/5-day water rescue technicians course on the River Dart in Devon. They achieved Level 3 water rescue qualification that up-skilled them to technical rescue in water or unstable surface environment such as mud or ice. In addition, the Water lead achieved level 4 Instructor status.

The course covered detailed theory training in hydrology and the planning and executing of rescues but focused more on practical applications in the form of advanced swimming in grade 2 and 3 water, the use of rope systems in rescues and using non-powered inflatable craft.

HANTSAR awarded grant of £9350 from Government

HANTSAR awarded grant of £9350 from Government

HANTSAR’s team of highly trained volunteers have been awarded £9350 by the Department of Transport to fund new water rescue equipment.

Maritime Minister, John Hayes said: “Every day countless volunteers in water rescue charities across our island nation carry out vital work during emergencies, not only around our coasts but also keeping our rivers, lakes and inshore waters safe. 

It is imperative that we value and support their tireless efforts. I am delighted to be able to announce the latest round of funding, ensuring they have the equipment and resources they need to provide their round-the-clock lifesaving services.”

Tony Privett, Chairman of HANTSAR said: “HANTSAR receives no external funding and we raise all our own funds to carry out our search and rescue operations Therefore, this generous grant will make a huge difference to us for it allows us to purchase a rescue boat to extend our search and rescue capabilities to areas of water as well as assisting rescuing people in a flood environment.”

Rescue sled training

Hampshire’s Special Constabulary and Hampshire’s Lowland Rescue Search and Rescue Teams join forces

Hampshire’s Special Constabulary and Hampshire’s Lowland Rescue Search and Rescue Teams join forces

Last weekend, HANTSAR and Hampshire Search and Rescue Dog Team (HSARDogs) joined forces with Hampshire Police Special Constabulary (Specials) to train 20 Specials in search techniques, water safety and casualty evacuation.

The initiative came following a successful joint exercise last year where the Specials Chief Officer decided the Specials should receive enhanced training to enable them to work effectively within the Lowland Rescue team structure alongside HANTSAR and HSARDogs.

Over the last few months, HANTSAR has been working with the Specials to develop a training package to provide them with search skills necessary to assist in the search for missing vulnerable persons. The trained Specials will be able to deploy, with Lowland Rescue, on live call-outs.

Tony Privett, Chairman of HANTSAR said: This is an innovative initiative that combines volunteers from both police and Hampshire’s Lowland Rescue units which can only enhance the chances of finding vulnerable missing persons.



Michelle Bavin received November’s Certificate of Appreciation from Tony Privett HANTSAR Chairman for her work in organising and running the recent two day Search Technician and Team Leaders courses and for all the other help and assistance she gives to HANTSAR. A real star.


Unity 101 Radio Interview with Tony and Alison

Tony and Alison’s Radio Interview

On 24th October Tony Privett, HANTSAR Chairman, and Alison Chestnutt, Membership Secretary, were interviewed by Alex Ivancevic on Unity 101.

Tony and Alison explained the fantastic work our volunteers do and how to join HANTSAR as an operational or support member.


You can listen to the Interview by clicking the Unity 101 logo below:


Ruth Taylor receives Certificate of Appreciation

Ruth Taylor receives Certificate of Appreciation


Congratulations to Ruth Taylor, HANTSAR’s Grants Officer, who received HANTSAR’s first ‘Certificate of Appreciation’. Ruth’s hard work resulted in HANTSAR receiving a very important grant from the ASDA Foundation to fund new digital radios.

The citation on the certificate states ‘Ruth identified an opportunity to apply for a grant through the ASDA foundation for digital radios and pulled together a team to gather the technical detail needed. Through the many reviews and requests for additional information Ruth built the relationship with ASDA which finally lead to the successful grant award’.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire and the Assistant Chief Constable thank Hampshire Search and Rescue on their 500th call-out

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire and the Assistant Chief Constable thank Hampshire Search and Rescue on their 500th call-out

Searching woodland in low light

On Saturday 15th October 2016, HANTSAR were deployed to their 500th call-out. 

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq, said, I was delighted to recently receive an update from Hampshire Search & Rescue and, as always, I am very impressed with the commitment the volunteers give to the local community in Hampshire. The charity was awarded the very prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2011 and since that time they have continued to support Hampshire Constabulary in the search for vulnerable missing persons.’

David Hardcastle, Assistant Chief Constable, saidCollaboration has become an increasingly important part of delivering an effective police service. Hampshire Constabulary’s collaboration with HANTSAR is a prime example of where the dedication of highly trained volunteers working alongside the police saves lives. Reaching 500 callouts is testament to how vital their role is to us and the public we all serve. Thank you HANTSAR, we truly appreciate the support you give.’

Tony Privett, HANTSAR Chairman said ‘We are extremely proud of all our volunteers, past and present, who have attended on 500 occasions to assist the police to search for vulnerable missing people. The commitment shown by our volunteers is amazing especially when you consider, as well as attending searches day or night, in sunshine, rain or snow and anywhere in Hampshire, they also fund all their own costs for travel and equipment. I would like to take the opportunity at this 500th milestone to thank all our current and previous members for their dedication to helping the people of Hampshire.’