Missing Person Search

At approx 1400 hrs a call was received by an IRC team on training in Lanarkshire. Fife Police had requested a search team complete with boat, to look for a missing 10 year old boy.

The ambulance was immediately dispatched to Bo’ness Fire Station to uplift the boat. As information was received the ambulance was diverted to Grangemouth to uplift a sound location system. The remainder of the team was initially mobilised directly to Methil in Fife. Additional members would be collected at agreed locations and would also report to Fife.

Julie Ryan who would act as IRC coordinator for this incident was first on scene at approx 15.30 hrs. She was introduced to the 2 ‘search’ sergeants who issued the description of the boy and information about when he had been seen last (at 2100 hours the previous evening, playing by the River Leven).

By approx 15.35 hrs, all IRC personnel and equipment were in attendance and it was suggested that IRC head to the weir to see if the boat was suitable to be used to search that part of the river.

Direct liaison with the police dive team from Central Scotland Police and also with the Coastguard would be possible at that location.

At 15.45 hrs the team left the police station and were taken down to the river and weir.

On arrival the IRC team was initially met by the Coastguard who took 2 members down to the river. On being introduced to the police officer in charge of the dive team a request was made for IRC to use its SCUBAR (this is an underwater camera) to search the area around the head of the weir, as it was considered unsuitable for divers to work at this location. The team was made ready and as they headed to the weir a message was received to stand by.

At 16.21 hrs a situation report was sent by the team that the Central Scotland Dive team had requested IRC to search the weir using the SCUBAR.

At 17.24 hrs The team were standing by waiting to see if SOCO (Scene of Crime Officer) needed help with underwater pictures.

At 18.00 hrs The team had been stood down because the Police confirmed they had definitely found a body and it was very likely the missing boy.

At 18.02 hrs the team arrived back to the police station for a debriefing.

At 18.30 hrs the team left for the store and home.


Willie McMartin Team Leader
Julie Ryan Coordinator
Paul Baxter Admin Phones
Derek Jolly
Davy Dawson
John Ryan
Ali Ingleby
Jamie Buchanan
Jimmy Livingstone
John Anderson (F)
John Wilkinson
Lou Higgins
Dean Mills
Tony Thompson
Les Gale



The River Leven flows from Loch Lomond in the North to the River Clyde in the South. The total length of the river is approximately six miles and although it is a relatively short river it is widely claimed to be the second fastest flowing river in Scotland, after the River Spey.


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