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Catastrophe averted as hit-TV actor Rob Delaney nearly sparks Hampstead Heath search during missing persons drill

PUBLISHED: 16:27 25 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:42 25 November 2019

Rob Delaney with two of his children on Hampstead Heath on Sunday afternoon, shortly after being met by London Search and Rescue volunteers on an exercise. Picture: Josh Thurston

Rob Delaney with two of his children on Hampstead Heath on Sunday afternoon, shortly after being met by London Search and Rescue volunteers on an exercise. Picture: Josh Thurston

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A London Search and Rescue training exercise almost turned into a full-scale investigation when an abandoned buggy was discovered on Hampstead Heath - but it turned out to belong to comic actor Rob Delaney.

Rob Delaney and two of his children are met by Search and Rescue volunteers after an abandoned buggy caused concern. Picture: Josh ThurstonRob Delaney and two of his children are met by Search and Rescue volunteers after an abandoned buggy caused concern. Picture: Josh Thurston

More than 50 members of the volunteer group were on the Heath on Sunday carrying out a series of drills and tests when one of the search teams came across an abandoned pushchair containing bags on a path near the Sports Ground.

Members of the five-strong group could not see its owners nearby, and another unit began to look into the wooded area to the north.

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As concerns grew about their whereabouts and they prepared to "radio in" the discovery for further investigation, Mr Delaney emerged with his two of his sons after they had headed off the beaten track to explore. He apologised to the search and rescue group who took the incident in good humour before they carried on with the rest of the afternoon's missing person scenario.

The American actor is best known for starring as Rob Norris in Channel 4 sitcom Catastrophe. He is also a vocal campaigner for the Labour Party and NHS.

London Search and Rescue is a lowland rescue team and helps the police to search for missing people in the capital and south east. It is funded entirely through donations.

The Ham&High spent the day shadowing them on their exercises, including a full missing persons A full report will be on the website and in the newspaper later this week.

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