Friday, October 20
Lost and Found
Last night(Thursday) I was up till late watching the police helicopter flying low overhead carrying out a search. Being nosey I made a phone call and found out that they were taking part in a huge search for a woman missing from nearby Rampside. As well as the police, coastguard teams and Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue spent most of the night in a fruitless search, made difficult by the terrain and the pitch darkness. Next morning I had more or less forgotten about it until one of my fares was talking of it and they mentioned the small estate that the woman was missing from. Ten minutes later and my next job was to pick up from the White House Hotel and as soon as my lady fare appeared I recognised her as a regular who we pick up from that same small estate. Coincidence maybe or maybe not, she was carrying an overnight bag and was going the five miles or so up to Dalton. I couldn't really come straight out and ask her if it was her, she would have maybe been spooked and ran off. And so I introduced the subject into the conversation by asking if she had heard about it, "No", she said. But I could see by the look on her face that she knew more than she was prepared to say. As soon as I dropped her of I dialed the local police station, only I didn't get the local police station I got the call centre forty miles away in Workington and a lady who didn't have a clue what was going on or even any local knowledge of this area, I might as well have been talking to a call centre in Karachi. In the end she said someone would ring me back, they did ten minutes later, enough time for the lady in question to disappear all over again. It turned out that I was right and it was her, and it's too be hoped that she has returned home safely. But lets hope they give her a good ear bashing over the tens of thousands of pounds it must have cost searching for her. And let's not forget that a lot of these mountain rescue and coastguard folk are unpaid volunteers an apology from her and a thank you from the rest of us would go a long way.