Missing woman Sally Allan

Missing woman Sally Allan

Three mountain rescue teams have taken part in a major search for a woman missing in Northumberland.

Sally Allan has not been seen since she left her Ponteland home in the early hours of Boxing Day.

Police requested the help of Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team and the North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team in the search for the 59-year-old Darras Hall woman. The teams were called out about 3.45pm and 22 volunteer members mounted a seven-hour search.

A search dog and handler also joined the operation, and a specially trained and equipped water team searched the banks of the River Pont which had burst its banks.

The following day, Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team joined the search, bringing the total of mountain rescue team members involved to 30. Three search dogs also took part in the hunt for the missing woman, which lasted 12 hours.

Andrew Jenkins of the Northumberland National Park MRT said: “The search continues for Sally with large numbers of the public from the local community now volunteering to help.

“The mountain rescue teams are continuing to support Northumbria Police through the organisation of these community volunteers and search planning. Other specialist resources including Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service’s swiftwater rescue team were tasked on 28 December.”

Chief Inspector Stephen Readdie said: “It has now been three days since Mrs Allan went missing and we are still very concerned for her welfare and are desperate for her to be reunited with her family.

“Officers will be located in the areas where we have had possible sightings of Mrs Allan, with searches focused around the area of Newburn and the River Tyne.

“In these types of cases the help of the public can be vital to bringing loved ones home and this one is no different. If you see Sally, or anyone who you may think could be Sally, then we urge you to call the police.

“This is completely out of character for Sally and she has never been away from home for this length of time without contacting her family.

“The local community have already been very supportive and we are thankful for all their help. We would ask that you continue to spread the word and help bring Sally home.”

In a statement Mrs Allan’s family said: “Sally is so loved and we just want her to come home.

“Everyone misses her so very much; we have had so much support. All of her friends have been in touch and have been sharing stories with us. We just wish Sally was here to hear them.

“We have been so moved and overwhelmed by the support we have had from friends, colleagues and neighbours who have joined us in searching the local area and would like to express how grateful we are. The support is fantastic and it means a lot to us.

“We’re all heartbroken and are desperate for Sally to come. We appeal direct to Sally to contact us to let us know you are safe and well. We are here for you and need you to come home.

“We would also like to thank the police and search and rescue volunteers for the time and effort they have dedicated so far.”

Mrs Allan is described as being 5ft 7in (1.70m) tall, slim build, with short silver-grey hair and may be wearing gold rimmed glasses. She is believed to be wearing pink pyjamas, cream-coloured fleece and cream-coloured Regatta waterproof anorak.

While teams were searching for the missing woman on Boxing Day, a lost walker phoned the emergency services for help from the Simonside Hills in the Northumberland national park.

Mr Jenkins said: “After speaking with the walker on their mobile phone, mountain rescue were able to establish their location and organised for two local farmers to drive and transport the walker back to their car – all within 25 minutes.

“Mountain rescue wish to publicly thank the farmers for their unquestioning and immediate response during this busy time for the teams.”

Shortly after 6pm on Monday, the Northumberland National Park and North of Tyne teams were put on standby for an overdue 50-year-old walker in the north Cheviots. Mr Jenkins said: “The teams were called via the police by a well intentioned walker in the Harthope Valley who had talked to the individual’s elderly father who was waiting in a car at Langleeford.

“The initial response showed no vehicles parked in the reported location and the teams were stood down.

“On Christmas Day NNPMRT water teams were placed on standby for expected flooding events in the Cumbria area.

“Fortunately no deployment was necessary to Cumbria but they remained on standby for Northumberland as rivers rose significantly on Boxing Day and there was a great deal of surface water flooding affecting many of the rural roads.

“The NNPMRT water teams were requested on Boxing Day to travel to York to support flooding operations. However they were unable to fulfil the request since they were already deployed in the search for Sally Allan. The teams are now drying and preparing their equipment such that they can respond to further operational requests from around the country as soon as possible.”

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