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 What3words app plays vital role in search for missing boy


The parents of a boy who went missing during a day out have praised an app which helped reunite them.
The ten-year-old was enjoying a trip to Cotherstone, near Barnard Castle, on bank holiday Monday when he disappeared while playing with the family dog near a river.
His parents searched the river bank and called 999 when they could not find him.
Using the What3words app - which has divided the world into three metre squares, each with a unique three word code to give people a simple way of referring to a specific location – the couple gave the call handler their location and the 3 words of where they had last seen their son.
The boy’s parents gave their location as sulked, owner, improvise and their son’s last known location words as pegged, ombudsman and plans.
Meanwhile, a walker who came across the lost boy 90 minutes later, also used the same app to pin point their location for police officers.
He gave the words honestly, easily and gifted.
Knowing the exact locations of both parties, officers were able to direct both to a nearby pub where the family, from Billingham, was reunited.
The boy’s mum, who did not wish to be named, said she was relieved to find her son and praised the police and the app for finding all so quickly.
She said: “We had never been to Barnard Castle before so it was concerning when my son did not come back and we did start to worry.
“Thankfully I had downloaded the app when I heard about it on the news and it came in very handy especially as we did not know where we really were and from talking to the people who found my son, they were not too sure either.
“We were very relieved to have our son back and want to thank all involved for helping us during a stressful time.”
Inspector for Crook, Teesdale and Weardale, Ed Turner, said: “This is another example of how effective What3words can be and we are relieved that the missing boy was located so quickly.
“Without the use of the app, we would have deployed several officers and potentially called on our partners in the other emergency services for help, so the app has not only reunited this family quickly but also means we were able to use our resources more wisely.
“I would encourage everyone to download this app as you never know when you might need it.”
Find the app in the app store or for more information visit