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by the NFCC


Lack of co-ordinated search plan: Water rescue

Hazard Knowledge

Personnel may be called to incidents where people are missing and are known to or may have entered a body of water. Whether a person is deemed missing or lost will also influence the response. The following categories apply:

Type Description
Missing – event witnessed When a person or people are not seen to reach a point of safety. Typically, this would be considered a high-risk event for the missing person. Examples include individuals who are seen being swept away by water flow or a car seen to be washed away when driving through water.
Missing – event not witnessed When a missing person or people should be found in a particular location, but for some reason they are not there or cannot be confirmed as being there. This may occur because of their own actions, or because of a failure in communications (e.g. telephone signal failure). Considerable effort may be needed to locate a missing person. This will normally be undertaken by the police.
Lost These are people in a location of relative safety but not aware of their precise location or unable to provide it. Some effort is required to find out where they are before carrying out a rescue or evacuation.