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Helicopter rescues lost couple.

A lost couple were found in a woodland with the help of a mobile phone and a cigarette lighter.

The couple, from Warkworth, had become disorientated as they walked in Kidland Forest, near Alwinton.

Tree felling operations have changed or removed some of the landmarks they were expecting when they set out for a stroll through the forest.

As darkness closed in on Wednesday night, the man, aged 60, and his 57-year-old wife realised they were lost.

The couple used their mobile phone to call a friend, who raised the alarm.

North of Tyne and Northumberland National Park search and rescue teams were sent to look for them with the help of a helicopter from RAF Boulmer and Northumbria Police.

As the search went on, the couple used their lighter to help guide rescuers towards them.

A search team leader said: "The couple did not have a torch with them, but used a cigarette lighter to help us find them in the darkness."

The mobile phone signal was intermittent, but members of the search and rescue teams were able to listen in on the couple's conversations with police and pass on useful information to the helicopter rescuers.

The couple were asked to identify the colour of the helicopter's lights to help pinpoint where they were in relation to it.

After losing the signal the helicopter crew donned high-tech nightsight goggles and after sweeping the area the couple were thought to be in, eventually spotted them three hours after they first called for help.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 6, 2006
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