A MAN who was missing for two weeks was found dehydrated and sunburnt, rescuers said.

Craig Kennedy went missing on June 8, sparking a massive search operation involving dozens of police, volunteers and an underwater search unit.

The 36-year-old, of Holyoake Road, Walkden, was found in a field close to Linnyshaw Garden Centre between Walkden and Wardley Moss at 6.40pm on Saturday.

He was taken to Royal Bolton Hospital for treatment and police said he was “safe and well”.

Mr Kennedy, who is 6ft 3in tall, is a keen walker who often explores local parks.

When he went missing, police put out an appeal for information and a member of the public reported a possible signing in Clifton Country Park in Swinton on June 12.

But a search by police and Bolton Mountain Rescue Team (BMRT) volunteers found no sign of him.

Police then brought in the Underwater Marine Unit to search a lake area near the country park and sections of the River Irwell.

BMR spokesman Steve Fletcher said: “As time went on, police grew increasingly concerned about locating the missing man.”

At 11am on Saturday, police organised a large-scale search of Blackleach Country Park in Walkden, joined by 56 volunteers from BMRT and colleagues based in Cheshire and Rossendale.

BMRT volunteers Dave Marsh and Dave Cook used a boat to search Blackleach Reservoir while their colleagues brought in a search dog.

A police helicopter also joined the hunt.

Mr Fletcher added: “The search covered an extensive area to the north and north east of Walkden including Hilltop, Blackleach Country Park, Linnyshaw Moss and open land areas in the Whittle Brook area.

“Searches by team vehicles were also conducted of nearby streets, the graveyard of St Paul’s Church, Walkden, and the outskirts of a large industrial estate.


“This search found items which were confirmed as belonging to the missing man, resulting in the focus of the search being centred around Linnyshaw Garden Centre area and the surrounding fields.

“When he was found, the man was in a very weak and disorientated state and was immediately taken to Royal Bolton Hospital for treatment for dehydration and sunburn.”