Thursday, 12 April 2018 – Petersfield Post has been missing since January
POLICE officers and search and rescue teams have carried out a joint operation in Petersfield as concerns about a missing man grow.
A Hampshire Police spokesman said: “Officers were carrying out searches in the Petersfield area on Tuesday, April 10, in connection with missing Scot MacKenzie.”
Also involved in the search, which took in the town centre, the Heath, land beside Petersfield Hospital, and the water meadows near Tesco, were volunteers from the Hampshire Search and Rescue charity (Hantsar).
Hantsar spokesman Trevor Vidler said: “We were called out to support the police in the search, and had about 28 volunteers there in teams of three and four.
“We searched areas across the town, including all the culverts in the stream that runs from Winchester Road through the town past Waitrose and on to Penns Place.
“Unfortunately the missing man wasn’t found, but we would like to thank the residents of Petersfield for their co-operation with our teams during the search.”
The Hantsar teams used the car park of the BT building in Charles Street as the operations base for their control vehicles.
As well searching the Heath, a team also searched land behind Petersfield Post Office, and other areas of the town.
One shopkeeper said: “Police did visit some shops, and the search and rescue people were in the town as well.”
Other Petersfield residents saw the Hantsar teams on the Heath, and searching the water meadows.
Scot MacKenzie (58), who is described as vulnerable, was last seen in the Tipner area of Portsmouth early on Monday, January 15.
He is described as white, approximately 5ft 10ins tall, medium build, with grey receding hair, and was last seen wearing an olive green anorak.
Soon after he disappeared police said the keen Pompey fan had kept in touch with former BT colleagues he worked with in Petersfield, and that he was fond of the Heath.
On the day he disappeared CCTV footage shows Scot at Portsmouth and Southsea train station at 2.52pm, but it is unclear whether he then boarded a train.
There was also an unconfirmed sighting of him at Queen Elizabeth Country Park visitors’ centre on at 1.40pm on January 29.
A spokesman said police were still very concerned for his safety, and that the searches weren’t based on specific information, but were part of the ongoing investigation into his disappearance.
The spokesman added: “If you see Scot, or know where he is, then please call us immediately on 101 quoting 44180023652.
Will I be on my own ?
NO, people are never on their own when on a search, we always deploy and search as a team and the Team Leader will keep track of all team members.
How are you funded ?
HANTSAR does not receive any funding from the government or the police. We raise our funding from collections and donations and the odd grant.
Who oversees your work?
The search work we do is overseen by the national organisation Lowland Rescue. They set minimum standards and define methods that all lowland rescue teams use to allow us to work together when appropriate.
How long will it take to get qualified ?
It depends on how many of the training sessions you can attend, however most people take around six months to qualify as a ‘Search Technician’ and get on the call out list.
Can I join a specialist team ?
Once you have been qualified as a ‘Search Technician’ for a year you can then train with one of HANTSAR’s specialist teams such as Water Rescue, Medical, Rope Access or Drones. We are first & foremost a foot search team so alongside specialist training we need to be able to keep our core competencies up to date.
We’re very happy to be sharing this picture!
Thanks to your generous donations of unwanted shoes and clothes to our banks located around Hampshire the Hampshire Search and Rescue have finally been able to replace their old 4×4 vehicle with a fully equipped Land Rover!
How awesome is that?!
The Hampshire Search and Rescue provides professionally trained volunteers to assist the police in searching for missing and vulnerable children and adults throughout Hampshire – 24/7 – without any external funding. Since the beginning of our partnership 12 months ago we have raised close to £40,000 enabling the organisation to purchase the new vehicle way ahead of their schedule.
“Our partnership with BIU has given us the financial ability to purchase another Land Rover well ahead of the anticipated date. Through the clothing donations into the textile collection banks by members of the public we again have the additional off-road capability, so important in the work we do. The support given to us by BIU was, and continues to be, invaluable and the ultimate beneficiary is the community as a whole. Thank you BIU!” said Trevor Vidler, Public Profile Officer, Hampshire Search & Rescue.
Press Release – 27th July 2017
Missing Man found after 600 searcher-hours searching on the edge of the New Forest
A vulnerable 82 year-old man had been reported missing on Tuesday 18th July from his home in Nomansland, at the edge of the county bordering the New Forest. Wiltshire Police called the professionally trained volunteers from Wiltshire Search and Rescue to assist in the planning and the search. Volunteers were also called from neighbouring Lowland Rescue teams: Hampshire Search and Rescue (HANTSAR), Hampshire Search Dogs, Dorset Search and Rescue, and Dorset Search Dogs.
Hampshire Search and Rescue provided a Search Planner and deployed search teams on Tuesday night and again on Wednesday 19th. The search continued on Thursday 20th, with specialist water rescue teams from Hampshire Search and Rescue.
The missing man was found and immediately taken to hospital, where he is recovering. In all, 51 Search and Rescue volunteers were involved. Adrian Sawyer, Chair of Wiltshire Search and Rescue, had this to say about the multiple teams who brought about the success of this search, “We are really pleased with the outcome of this search and it was absolutely worth the lost sleep, the miles walked, the thunder, lightning, and torrential rain that we all endured in order to bring the gentleman safely back to his family. I’m proud of the way all the teams worked together seamlessly and supported Wiltshire Police. This is truly why we train so hard and volunteer our time.”
Drone Appeal Launched by Charity
A local rescue service has launched an appeal to buy drones, to improve its ability to search for missing people.
Hampshire Search and Rescue (HANTSAR) is a voluntary organisation which works alongside the police and other emergency services. Teams of volunteers are called out to assist searches across the county when required.
The chairman of HANTSAR, Tony Privett, told members of Four Marks and Medstead Rotary that the service was one of a number of lowland rescue services operating across England. He said “We search for those people who have been reported missing and are identified by the police as ‘high risk’, and we operate anywhere from high water on the South coast to the hilltops of Hampshire.”
HANTSAR is a charity which has been in operation for fifteen years, and now has a hundred volunteers, the majority of whom have been trained to operate on the front line of searches in teams of three or more.
Tony Privett explained that a person who had gone missing could be anywhere within a 28 square mile area within an hour. Within another two hours, that individual could be anywhere in a 250 square mile area, which presented a huge search challenge.
One of HANTSAR’s team of volunteers, Kevin Malam, is now working on a plan to enhance the service by using drones to search from the air areas that are difficult to access on foot. HANTSAR hopes to acquire three drones, and Kevin, who is a member of Four Marks and Medstead Rotary, hopes the charity can raise £5,000 to make this possible.
He said, “Having drones available to our volunteer search teams would make it possible to search wider areas more quickly and to reach places that we just cannot get to on foot.”
HANTSAR teams are called out about sixty times a year to search for some of the 50,000 people who are reported missing in Hampshire each year.