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HomeNewsIndependent Search Team Utilizes High-Resolution Sonar Technology

Independent Search Team Utilizes High-Resolution Sonar Technology

Independent Search Team Utilizes High-Resolution Sonar Technology

Peter Faulding, the company’s CEO, stated that his team has had a “very high hit rate” with its high-spec sonar equipment, adding, “If there is a body in the river, our sonar will detect it.”

An independent underwater rescue team joining police looking for Nicola Bulley will be using a high-spec sonar “which can see every stick and stone lying on the riverbed”.

The 45-year-old mother-of-two went missing in Lancashire on Friday, 27 January, while walking her dog, and officers’ “main working hypothesis” is that she fell into the River Wyre near St Michael’s on Wyre village.

However, her family and friends have stated that there is “no evidence whatsoever” to support this.

Specialist Group International’s dive team will join the search on Monday morning after initially offering assistance on social media.

“Let’s get this water searched so it can be either confirmed or denied if Nicola is actually in this river,” SGI’s chief executive, Peter Faulding, told Sky News.

READ MORE: Nicola Bulley: Police Search for Missing Mum

He claimed that his firm’s £55,000 side-scan sonar has a high frequency of 1,800 kilohertz and that “we have a very high hit rate” with the equipment.

Police have a side-scan sonar as well, but “our sonar is probably a bit superior,” he said, adding, “I’m not sure what frequency they’ll be using.”

Mr. Faulding stated that the police were searching a “particularly long stretch of river” because they were also acting as a dive team.

“As a result, the police face a massive task.”

“Because it’s a large body of water,” “more hands on deck” will be required.

He said he had “worked on hundreds of these cases, and we always, generally find people within the hour in lakes, etc”.

“We’re just bringing in some extra knowledge.”

How will SGI assist?

The police search adviser will task the SGI team with looking in a specific stretch of river in the morning, according to Mr. Faulding.

“Once he says ‘I want this piece of river searched,’ it will be up to me to search that piece of the river with my team,” he explained.

“So they won’t tell us how to do it; they’ll just say, ‘This is a stretch of river that needs to be done; could you please do that and report back?'”

“If there is a body in the river, our sonar will detect it,” he said.

ALSO READ: Missing Dog Walker Nicola Bulley: River Search Intensifies

Mr. Faulding stated that SGI handles all underwater search operations for the police in the South East.

He said his sonar will probably start from the weir downwards “and identify any possible targets”. He added that it can typically cover about 10 miles of river per day.

“Sometimes you can get deep pools of water where the sonar can’t quite get to and that’s where you have to put the diver in,” Mr. Faulding cautioned, “but this river winds around and there’s deep pools, shallow bits, so it’s a lot of work.”

“We’ll work a long day and keep going until we’re done,” he explained.

What prompted SGI to become involved?

According to Mr. Faulding, SGI first advertised its services on Facebook.

“We just said we will assist if required, but they [the family] came straight back and then they went to the police, and the police, via that, contacted us.

“As a result, we’ve had some very fruitful discussions. We constantly collaborate with the police.”

In a statement, Lancashire Police said SGI will be deployed under its direction and will “join an already large, multi-agency search operation involving a wide variety of search assets and resources”.

“Their capability will build on what has already been done and will continue to be done to provide additional search coverage along what is an extremely difficult environment to search.”