Help launch vital town rescue team
Volunteers and money sought to patrol treacherous marshland around Southport
ANEW permanent marshland search Seaton.and rescue team could be created after an initial group was formed in a bid to find missing Southport man Adam
The Edge Hill University student went missing on August 9 and his car was found a day later parked outside the RSPB car park near marshland continuing from Southport Beach.
A group of volunteers, who know the area well from fishing, soon decided to form regular search parties of the land to assist police and fire services.
After finishing a search one evening, one of the group, Paul Sherman, noticed two people looking towards them with binoculars.
Those people turned out to be Adam’s parents Andy and Karen, whom Paul says were shocked to see complete strangers giving their own time and effort for the search. Those searches continued regularly until last week and on one occasion, the group led about 50 of Adam’s friends and family to join the search in a safer area of the beach.
The team has now completed its search of the area, but found no further clues to Adam’s whereabouts.
Talks have now begun with the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust about forming a dedicated team to focus on the marshlands.
This would mean that a group of people with knowledge of the area would be ready and equipped to carry out searches if a similar case were to happen in the future.
Paul, 52, and the other members of the group felt compelled to help the search when they heard the news that Adam was missing and now could form a permanent volunteer service.
“What we’re trying to do is full a gap in the emergency service,” he said.
“We saw Merseyside Fire & Rescue turn up with a hovercraft but they don’t know the area well, a lot of them are from Liverpool.
“We got thinking that we should really have a dedicated estuary team, just in case something like this ever happens again.
“The lifeboat service checked the water as soon as they got the call and Merseyside police checked the marshland but there’s only so far they can go. This has really highlighted that this is needed.”
Paul runs a contracting company but has been fishing on the estuary since he was a teenager. Since recovering from a near fatal bout of pneumonia in 2002, he decided to devote his free time to helping others.
“I was lying in bed, crying that I was going to leave a young daughter behind. That was a wakeup call, thinking, ‘What have I done with my life?’” He has previously been involved with the charity Soldier On as well as doing a variety of community work, particularly involving heritage and architecture work.
An online fundraising page has now been set up to help buy equipment for the proposed search and rescue team.
The campaign, which Soldier On is hosting on behalf of the volunteers, states: “We would like to provide the group of local volunteers who stepped in to fulfil that need with the equipment they require in order that they can continue to provide a vital service in an emergency situation on the Ribble estuary.”
Adam Seaton, who has been missing since Thursday, August 9; searches have been made of the marshland, top, where his car was found