Category Archives: News

Petersfield Post – Search and Rescue teams hunt for missing man

Police and search and rescue teams hunt for missing man in Petersfield

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.

BIU update

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

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.”

News from Four Marks and Medstead Rotary

News from….

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. 

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.