Forestry brigades and GEO divers search for the Paterna cyclist in what are "decisive hours"

The Valencia Fire Consortium continues to work in the search for the man who disappeared last Friday in Paterna during the rainy episode.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
17 September 2023 Sunday 16:47
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Forestry brigades and GEO divers search for the Paterna cyclist in what are "decisive hours"

The Valencia Fire Consortium continues to work in the search for the man who disappeared last Friday in Paterna during the rainy episode. After three days of unsuccessful results, this Monday the Consortium also mobilized firefighters, BRIFO forest brigades, command units and forest firefighters from the Generalitat Valenciana.

All of them along with the rest of the emergency services working in the search for the cyclist, whose track was lost in the Tormos de Paterna irrigation ditch. He had left work fifteen minutes earlier to go to an appointment and knew the area he was traveling through, despite the strong storm that had hit the town. The Government delegate in the Valencian Community, Pilar Bernabé, has highlighted that this Monday and Tuesday there will be "decisive hours" in the search given the forecast of adverse weather next Wednesday.

GEO divers are also participating in the search, and during the morning they focused on an area of ​​the river where he disappeared last Friday. This was indicated this Monday by the principal commissioner and provincial head of the National Police of Valencia, Vicente Martínez Guillem during the search operation for the missing man.

Since news of the man's disappearance became known, some 150 National Police agents have collaborated in the search, from specialized units to air resources and the Special Operations Group (GEO), which has arrived from Guadalajara.

These GEOs, the commissioner indicated, "are very specialized units trained for emergency situations and do diving and tracking work in different areas of water." Specifically, this morning they focused on the sixth zone - the place where the man could be found has been divided into six zones.

"The latest information suggests that the body may be in the sixth zone and the GEO is doing tracking work," he said. The commissioner has stated that there is a lot of vegetation in the area and as a consequence of the torrential rains the water has been rising and falling, "so it is not possible to know with absolute certainty where the body is. That is why different areas have been made, to optimize resources and locate the body," he said. The GEOs began doing different tasks yesterday morning and have already been in different sections of the river searching.

The "problem" that divers face is that visibility is "practically zero": "But they have very sophisticated means of locating people. We are very hopeful that this person can be located and that it will be achieved within a period of short time," he said.

For his part, the chief inspector of the Valencia Provincial Firefighters Consortium, José Miguel Basset, has indicated that it is a "complex" search work because "floods of water do not stop coming and we have a work window that has begun today and will last until early Wednesday morning, where heavy rains are expected," he indicated.

Regarding the divers' task, he explained that their work was scheduled to end earlier now and, with the information collected, there will be a new meeting at the Command Post and the organization of the search will be rethought.

The chief inspector has indicated that an area of ​​three or four kilometers of river bank is being combed and working with satellite images to see where the flood bed has reached. They have also asked the Júcar Hydrographic Confederation not to increase the flow that is drained. In total, he said, this Monday there are a hundred people working in the area, half of them from the fire department.

On the other hand, the mayor of Paterna, Juan Antonio Sagredo, met this morning with the mayors of Manises, Javier Mansilla, and Quart, Cristina Mora, to coordinate, with means and personnel, in the search device as the radius of action through the Túria Natural Park from the municipality of Paterna to those of Manises and Quart.

In this regard, Sagredo has highlighted "the great deployment of technical and human resources that has been carried out for 72 hours in order to find this resident of Manises", at the same time he has thanked "the enormous effort and work of all the professionals who are part of the search device".

For his part, Javier Mansilla thanked "the great involvement that both the mayor of Paterna and his City Council are having in the search for our neighbor from the first moment" and has insisted "on the professionalism of all the bodies involved in this device." , which is why it has made a request to its citizens to desist from carrying out search raids at a private level.

Likewise, Cristina Mora has joined in this gratitude and has stressed "the importance of coordinating and joining efforts between the neighboring municipalities to find the missing neighbor," she said.