Search and rescue with a difference
Each Wednesday evening the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team at Ashburton meets for its weekly training session at various locations across the moor and Wednesday the 3rd April was a navigation themed evening which turned into a successful find without the need for a stretcher.
Meeting at Hexworthy Drift we split into groups of 3 and 4 and were given various points to find as part of the navigation theme for the evening. Our team found our first few points and about 9pm in the dark we started to head back to the start from Mount Misery.
Following no set path but walking on a bearing across difficult ground of wet grass tussocks in the dark, John, one of the 3 in our group, spotted a small black Lowe Alpine bag, about the size 5 inches long and 3 inches wide lying in the grass. An amazing find at anytime and the chances of coming across it must have been millions to 1. But, the story doesn’t end there.
Me being a self professed geek and the team webmaster and social media man, decided I would try and track down the owner. The camera, a small Lumix DZ7, no longer worked thanks to the Dartmoor wet, but the memory card was readable. Examining the photos on the computer I found pictures of 3 adults on a bivvy weekend on the moor – presumably just before they lost the camera – and a family holiday in Torquay. Not much to go on so far but the 3rd set of pictures gave me hope. They showed what appeared to be a school sports day and the vital clue was some of the children participating were wearing school polo shirts.
Zooming in on one of the polo shirts showed a logo with text, and the text was just readable giving a name of a school. Armed with this information I got on to Google and the first result showed the name of the school with the same logo in Bournemouth.
An email to the school received a reply with the name of the family and an email address. Bingo! An email conversation followed and the camera and memory card was returned to its owner. Result!
A follow up is that the owner was interviewed on BBC Radio Solent about the amazing story and is apparently due to be back on the moor this weekend. Lets hope he doesn’t drop anything!