The man had been walking the Arran Ridge from Llanuwchllyn with a group of friends. Feeling tired, he stopped to rest whilst the others pressed on to summit Arran Fawddwy, but on their return the man was no longer in position. The group continued down, assuming that the man must have done the same, but on their return to the village, there was no sign of him.
The North Wales Police Air Support Unit helicopter was available to help, an excellent option given the good visibility. Assistance was requested, and the crew began a sweep of the ridge-line, while volunteers from the Team were put on standby.
While news of the helicopter search was awaited, a second call came in from North Wales Police reporting concerns for an overdue walker near Aberdyfi. The 27 year old woman was walking between Abergynolwyn and Pennal to meet her friend but had not appeared at the agreed time. A team leader contacted the friend who reported that she had made phone contact with the missing walker and that all was well. The call-out was about to be cancelled when the walker got back in contact to say she didn’t know where she was. An attempt to get a fix on her position using the SARLOC smart-phone protocol was attempted but could not get a good enough phone signal. As the next moves by ASART were being planned, the walker encountered another party who were able to give her correct directions to reach her destination.
As this second call-out was being closed down, news came in that the Police helicopter had located the missing man a good distance from his last known position on the Arran Ridge. He had set off to descend as predicted, but had drifted a good way off the expected route. The involvement of the Police Helicopter significantly speeded up the search for the man, and it saved the Team a long evening on the hill.