Dog walker who sparked major rescue operation on Bodmin Moor was in breach of Covid guidelines

Credit: East Cornwall Search & Rescue Team

A man who sparked a rescue operation on Bodmin Moor has avoided a fine for breaking coronavirus rules.

The man, from Bodmin, called the emergency services after taking his dog for a walk and getting lost in the thick fog.

To make matters worse his phone battery died so rescuers could not find out his exact location.

Credit: East Cornwall Search & Rescue Team

The major search on Wednesday 27 January involved multiple teams from East Cornwall Search and Rescue with further assistance later called from West Cornwall Search and Rescue and Dartmoor Rescue Group at 3pm, as fading light and difficult conditions made the search harder.

The man's car was located and the search then focused in the Rough Tor area of the Moor.

It was 45 minutes after additional teams were requested to help with the search when emergency services took a call from the missing man to say he had found his way to St Breward and was safe and well.

Credit: East Cornwall Search & Rescue Team

Bodmin Police followed up the incident and discovered the man lived 13 miles away from the part of the moor he travelled to, despite there being alternative dog-walking spots closer to his home.

Police considered issuing a fixed penalty ticket for the breach of coronavirus regulations, however after he offered to donate the amount to the volunteers who searched for him, he was issued with advice by officers.

Bodmin Police said the incident highlights another reason by people should stay local as per coronavirus guidance, saying: “This highlights another reason why the advice is to stay local. You may inadvertently become involved in an incident that places others at risk. In this case, numerous responders had to attend to search for him."

Anyone who lives locally to either Dartmoor or Bodmin moor is advised to make sure they take sensible precautions. This includes checking the weather, ensuring you have a means of navigation, a fully charged phone, as well as warm and waterproof clothing.

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