Missing RAF Honington airman Corrie McKeague’s mum says she was staggered by the number of people who wanted to join a public search on Saturday.
Nicola Urquhart, who took part herself, said today: “The amount of people who asked to come staggered me, but not one person turned up who wasn’t asked.”
The family and Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue (Sulsar) who organised the search in part of Thetford Forest kept tight control over who took part to ensure manageable numbers and that only those capable of tackling the terrain and weather went.
Nicola said: “Every member of the public turned up with appropriate footwear, appropriate trousers – nobody turned up in trainers and jeans. I think it surprised Sulsar.
“It wasn’t going to be a gentle walk in the woods. You were walking through brambles up to your waist.”
She also praised Sulsar for the way they organised the 77 members of the public and 10 teams involved in the search.
A Scottish police officer, she added: “I know how to search but I had the same briefing as everyone else. They showed us how to search. They had a member of Sulsar next to each member of the public.
“What I was really pleased about was we had a debrief and they said the search was a success and they didn’t need to search the area again because they were satisfied it had been done to the right standard.”
Members from Cambridge and Norfolk lowland search and rescue also took part and 4x4 Response provided vehicles.
She said the family may hold more searches but she added: “We won’t do any next weekend because I want people to enjoy Christmas, not come out for me which I know they would.”
You can find out more about Sulsar and make donations at www.sulsar.org.uk
Anyone with information on Corrie, who has been missing since September 24, should call the Suffolk Police the incident room on 01473 782019.