SAR - Search and Remember

SAR - Search and Remember

Police’s Search and Rescue (SAR) specialists are used to finding people – now they’re trying to track down a few of their own.

Auckland SAR is compiling a list of its former members so an honours board can be raised in tribute.

They have gathered many names already but are seeking help from within and outside Police to get the details of as many as possible of those who have moved on.

“We’ve talked for years about having an honours board to show the hard work of staff who have come before us,” says team member Detective Constable Sara Arrow.

“There are so many names on the list so far and we’re only scratching the surface.”

To qualify for the board, you need to have been a permanent member of Auckland SAR for at least one year.

“We’re therefore asking people to inform us of their start and finish dates on SAR,” says Sara.

“We have reasonable records dating back to 2000 and OK records going back to the late 1980s - but there are still gaps and we have very little information from before the 80s. We want to make sure we include everyone we can.”

Auckland SAR has 18 officers and three dog handlers under the command of Sergeant Dene Duthie.

The members are drawn from across the three Tāmaki Makaurau districts and, in all cases except Dene, their SAR duties are on top of their ‘regular’ jobs in Police. Six are on call at any one time, 24/7.

Their work includes bush and urban searches, rescues of the injured, body recovery and assisting with maritime SAR. Many members are trained in disaster victim identification.

The size of the squad means they can support other districts – and members have been involved in large operations following incidents away from Auckland, including the Christchurch earthquake and Pike River Mine disaster.

If you can help the search, please contact Sara.