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by the NFCC


Lack of co-ordinated search plan: Outdoor searches

Hazard Knowledge

When searching for a missing person outdoors, the terrain may present additional hazards. Further information regarding the risks and hazards present can be found in Operations: Failing to manage health, safety and welfare.

The distance travelled by a missing person from the initial planning point (IPP) can vary widely, due to influences such as:

  • The age, physical condition and mental health of the missing person
  • Whether the missing person was involved in an activity, for example hiking, cycling or running
  • The type of clothing and footwear being worn by the missing person
  • Weather, visibility and ground conditions

A missing person may be confused, could evade being found or even show aggression towards the people searching for them.

When the missing person has been located, they may require medical treatment. Likely conditions include dehydration, hypothermia, heat illness or physical injuries. For more information refer to Deterioration in the condition of a casualty