Help launch vi­tal town res­cue team

Vol­un­teers and money sought to pa­trol treach­er­ous marsh­land around South­port

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ jamie.lopez@reach­plc.com @jamie_lopez1 To view the page and do­nate, visit: www.gofundme.com/ rib­ble-es­tu­ary-sarteam

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

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