After nearly 600 hours of searching involving 51 people, Wiltshire Search and Rescue team members have found George Bassett, an 82 year old man with dementia. George was immediately taken to hospital where he is recovering well. The family has lived in Nomansland near Landford for 50 years and George has always been a keen walker. Pamela Bassett, George’s wife, said today, “Knowing that you were out looking for him gave me the strength to carry on. I am so grateful to you all for what you did and I feel like this is my lucky day.” Pamela, who celebrates her 81st birthday today (22nd July) added, “Everybody from Wiltshire Police and from the search and rescue organisations couldn’t have done more and I can’t thank you enough.”
George had been reported missing on Tuesday 18th July from his home in Nomansland, at the edge of the county bordering the New Forest. Wiltshire Police called the professionally trained volunteers from Wiltshire Search and Rescue to assist in the planning and the search. Volunteers were also called from neighbouring Lowland Rescue teams: Hampshire Search and Rescue, Hampshire Search Dogs, Dorset Search and Rescue, and Dorset Search Dogs.
Adrian Sawyer, Chair of Wiltshire Search and Rescue, had this to say about the multiple teams who brought about the success of this search, “We are really pleased with the outcome of this search and it was absolutely worth the lost sleep, the miles walked, the thunder, lightening, and torrential rain that we all endured in order to bring George safely back to his family. I’m proud of the way all the teams worked together seamlessly and supported Wiltshire Police. This is truly why we train so hard and volunteer our time.”
The search was coordinated by Wiltshire Police who also used their drone and their helicopter to scour the fields and woodland around Nomansland in sometimes very challenging conditions. The teams on the ground quickly reacted to the information coming in from a variety of sources and were able to systematically search a large area of fields, crops and woodland.
Wiltshire Search and Rescue is a voluntary organisation funded entirely through voluntary donations. The team is professionally trained and is called out by Wiltshire Police to support with finding vulnerable and missing people. In 2016 over 10,000 hours of volunteer hours were given to the community by the team. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and are united in their desire to be there when people need us most.