THE Dorset Search and Rescue lead said he and his team were “frustrated” at not being called out to help find missing teen Gaia Pope until more than 24 hours after she went missing.

Trevor Antell, chairman of DorSAR, said his team of around 100 volunteers had never failed to respond to a request to be called out, which would come from the police, since they started in 2004.

Despite the team being available on November 7, 2017, the date Ms Pope went missing from Swanage, they were not requested until 6pm on November 8.

READ MORE: Gaia Pope: officers were 'crying out for help' inquest hears

Bournemouth Echo:

Mr Antell told Ms Pope’s inquest at Bournemouth Town Hall this would have affected the “survival ratio” of the 19-year-old but added if they were called out it may not have changed the outcome.

The team were then called out again on November 11 and 12, and on November 16 when Ms Pope’s clothes were found.

However, due to finishing late, they were not tasked on November 17, and it was agreed they would return to the area, between Anvil Point and Dancing Ledge, on November 18.

Having received information a sock had been seen on November 17 and given a grid reference, Mr Antell told jurors he located the item of clothing.

Bournemouth Echo:

He said he then had a “direction of travel” of Ms Pope he wanted to search, which would have led him in the direction of where Ms Pope’s body was eventually found later that day, nine metres away.

Mr Antell, however, said Dorset Police officer Andrew Napper wanted to search a larger area in the opposite direction to ensure it was thoroughly checked.

He added the finding was “fortunate”, given where the body was located in undergrowth, but also because the details given of areas previously searched were not “comprehensive”.

It was “unlikely” she would have been found, he told the court, if she wasn’t located on November 18.

Speaking of when DorSAR were called out on November 12, Mr Antell said his team were “very unsupported”.

“They felt as though they were given tasks to keep them busy,” he said.

Ms Pope suffered with epilepsy and PTSD after an alleged rape two year prior to her disappearance.

The inquest had previously heard she felt “anxious” about her alleged rapist’s imminent prison release for a separate offence.

Concerns have been raised about the handling of the rape allegation and the handling of her disappearance.

The inquest continues.