Tees River Rescue


Missing people, injured animals, damaged or sinking boats and missing paddle boarders. These are all the things we have searched for during 2021.

We deploy at the request of Cleveland Police to search for missing people (alongside and in partnership with other agencies), we deploy a crew on our boat Adjutor and can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time.

Being on the river means we can search both riverbanks at the same time. Being equipped with down and side view sonar we can also search the riverbed simultaneously. 

We always hope to find people safe and well, but we also train for the worst and rescue would be the next stage. Our crews have first aid training and we train with man-overboard (MOB) procedures and CPR.

Yarm Road Bridge in the mist at night on a missing person search

Search conditions can change quickly. The video highlights a missing person search where we were travelling between locations as we were being updated by Police.

The conditions in the video are 1 hour apart on a summers evening in July 2021.

This can happen to anyone out walking, swimming, canoeing along the river. We had checked weather conditions prior and were aware of the likelihood of this thunderstorm

Searching in daylight is difficult when you have several miles to cover. Searching in the dark is even harder.

Navigating a boat along a river in the dark is difficult, you cannot see any obstacles in the water until you are on top of them. We have really good searchlights on the boat but in foggy or misty conditions these make it worse to navigate.

We always assess risk before deploying our volunteers, their safety is paramount to us and if the conditions are not safe or the crew is not comfortable then we will wait until conditions are more favourable.