Police have praised the “determination” a motorcyclist who survived three nights at the bottom of a wet 6ft ditch trapped under his bike and suffering from broken ribs...
The 40-year-old man went missing from his home in Goole at 4.30pm on Tuesday, September 11, and Humberside Police launched a missing persons investigation at 3.37pm the following day after his partner raised the alarm.
Officers checked his workplace, nearby hospitals and police custody suites. His home was also checked and it was here police found that his new black Kawasaki ZX-6R motorcycle was also missing.
It was also discovered that the man’s phone had not been used for at least 24 hours and it had not moved from its location in the large rural area south of Snaith.
The force’s helicopter joined the search and traffic officers were sent out to drive the route from the man’s home to his work, looking specifically at hedges and ditches.
Two full days were spent checking rivers, reservoirs, fields, ditches, houses, gardens and other locations between Thorne, Rawcliffe and Snaith.
At 11.20am on Thursday, September 14, officers spotted a small amount of motorcycle debris at the roadside close to the junction of Selby Road and Reed Holme Lane on the A614 just north of Thorne. South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and an ambulance were then called in while officers conducted a thorough search of the immediate area.
The man was finally found 6ft down in a ditch between East Cowick and Thorne, lying in water, at 12.14pm. He was conscious and breathing.
It is believed that he collided with a metal signpost on the off-side of the carriageway before travelling a further 200m down the road and into the ditch, hidden from view.
The man, who has not been named by police, is being treated for broken ribs and hypothermia at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
Humberside Police spokesman Inspector Rob Cocker said: “Telephone analysis showed that the man’s texts and call pattern was completely out of character, the analysis also gave the police a large search area in a predominantly rural part of the county.
“Even with a helicopter it is impossible to check every overgrown ditch and crevice and the only way to be 100% sure is to search on foot using officers on the ground.
“This was a large scale missing person enquiry and required resources being pulled in from Scunthorpe and Hull and the use of the South Yorkshire Helicopter for three days.
“All officers feared the worst and it was very pleasing to find the man alive and hope him well with his recovery. It is a credit to his determination that he is still alive.”
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