Three new dogs join NSARDA Anglia search team dedicated to finding missing people

(Front row, kneeling) Kevin Waterson and Conker, Paul Deboick and Oscar, Dave Forster and Winnie.

(Front row, kneeling) Kevin Waterson and Conker, Paul Deboick and Oscar, Dave Forster and Winnie. Standing (left to right) Phill Fox and Breeze, Liz Harlaar, Mark Green, Trevor Byford, Mark Gibbings, external assessor from South Wales Mountain Rescue Team, Andy Shemming and Puzzle. Picture: NSARDA - Credit: Archant

A regional search and rescue organisation dedicated to finding missing people now has three new dogs in its team.

The National Search and Rescue Dog Association (NSARDA) Anglia put the three animals – a German longhaired pointer called Conker, a cocker spaniel named Winnie, and Oscar, a labrador/springer cross – through their paces during a three-day assessment to secure their national qualification.

The assessments are the culmination of more than 18-months training for handlers Kevin Waterson, Dave Forster and Paul Deboick, and means the team now has five operational dogs which can be used by the emergency services to search for missing people.

The team was originally set up by the past national chairman of the association, Kevin Waterson, in 1997, who also founded Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue (SULSAR) in 1998.

NSARDA Anglia has been used in many high-profile searches including the Ipswich murders in 2006, and in the early stages of the investigation into the disappearance of RAF Serviceman Corrie McKeague.

A specialised drowned victim search dog was brought in and used to check the various lakes in the area for a trace of the airman, who went missing after a night out in Bury St Edmunds.

The team were also put on standby for the April Jones murder in Wales ready to back up local teams.

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NSARDA Anglia is completely funded by donations and fundraising, such as a recent donation of more than £3,000 from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) West Suffolk branch from their beer festival at the APEX in Bury St Edmunds.

Mark Green, Chairman of the NSARDA Anglia branch, said: “These funds have already been used to provide team members with new protective outdoor equipment and team radios, as well as funding for current training to be delivered to the team by external professionals.

“We would like to thank West Suffolk and Border’s CAMRA for their very generous donation that has made the recent purchases possible.

“Without donations such as this and the huge amount of time our volunteers give to training the dogs, the team and the service we give, wouldn’t exist.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer to help the team can email, leave a message on 01284 764804 or write to NSARDA Anglia, 20 Cadogan Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 3QJ

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