The family of a man missing from his home near Peterborough for almost six months have shown their appreciation the efforts of a lowland search and rescue team to try and find him by raising money to enable them to buy bikes to assist them in their work.
Michael (Mick) Smith, aged 53 and from Glinton, a village north of Peterborough, was last seen leaving his home at 11.30am on 11 June, dressed in the dark blue uniform of his employers, Anglian Water.
Since then, volunteers from Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue (CAMSAR) have spent more than 1,200 hours looking for him, so far without success.
Last Monday, CAMSAR wrote on Facebook: “It is not every day when a post stops you in your tracks but today it has.”
Referring to the search for Mr Smith, they said: “We returned again this past weekend to continue the search, but still no answers.
“During this traumatic time for the family, they have still mustered the strength and courage to fundraise for our team, which is truly humbling and inspiring at the same time.”
The family raised £2,000 for CAMSAR, which said: “As a team, we decided to dedicate the amount raised to purchasing four brand new fully kitted search bikes.
“Over the coming years, these bikes will be used to assist in searching for high risk vulnerable missing persons across Cambridgeshire.”
Mr Smith’s family said: "We were unaware of the CAMSAR charity until we needed them, and like many small local charities, they are the unsung heroes of our community.
"Since Mick/dad's disappearance... we have felt utter loss, pain and despair.” They added that “the hole left in our hearts is irreparable.”
CAMSAR added: “As a team we would like to say a special thanks and send our thanks and thoughts to Michael’s family.”
The graphic below shows the work CAMSAR volunteers undertook last year, all of it funded by donations.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.