On call 24/7, 365 Days a Year
West Cornwall Search and Rescue Team (WCSAR) operates a voluntary search and rescue capability across the far southwest of mainland Britain. The team's unpaid volunteers are available 24/7, 365 days a year to support the emergency services to search for lost, missing and injured people.
A Cornish Charity
Funded entirely by donations, the team maintains a core membership of 40 highly-trained volunteers from all walks of life, a rescue base in the centre of the region, a fully-equipped incident control vehicle and an off-road ambulance.
Our affiliation
WCSAR is a member of Mountain Rescue England and Wales, the umbrella organisation that coordinates the provision of inland search and rescue as part of the UKSAR framework. Within MREW, the team works alongside it's partner teams within the PenMaCRA (Peninsula Mountain and Cave Rescue Association) region.
23
2019 call-outs
1
Medical
4
Technical
Working on behalf of the Police

How a search develops

In a vast majority of cases the team are called out by the Police to assist in the search for missing people from a variety of backgrounds. A missing person could be someone living with dementia who had left home, someone suffering mental health issues or despondency, or the perhaps more expected walkers lost on the moors in poor weather.

The Police will coordinate the search and speak to family and friends to build a profile of the missing person. Once a series of checks (eg home, phone, hospital, custody) have been made a search strategy is devised and the team may be called out if the search areas identified cover woodland, parkland, open areas or moorland. The team can also run urban searches, but these are more often covered by Police officers.

Team search managers are then contacted by the Police via a text alert system and will liaise with a Police LPSM (Lost Person Search Manager) to identify key tasks for the team. Once these are agreed the team are called out and text alerts will be going off across the west of the Duchy. Members will then RV at a single location and deploy out into search areas, whether as small foot teams, bank search teams, rope teams or working with MRSDE (Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England) dog handlers.

Further details of how a search operate can be found in this very comprehensive online piece.

The Herbert Protocol

The team also proactively works with the Police and other agencies on projects relevant to dementia planning. The Herbert Protocol was initially launched by West Yorkshire Police and encourages carers of those living with dementia to compile relevant information which could be used in the event of the person they care for going missing.