Missing woman Emma Beattie: Second search in police annual training exercise

A second search is been undertaken to find missing Rangiora woman Emma Beattie.

Police believe there's no suspicious circumstance surrounding her disappearance, but are using an annual training exercise to help find her.

It's a gruelling search through rugged terrain. Helicopters scour the ground from the air, as crews on foot traverse through waist-deep scrub along the Ashley River.  

"It's very difficult; it's up and down a lot," says David Williams from LANSAR South Canterbury.

"One minute you're on firm ground the next minute you're in a hole."

It's all part of a search and rescue training exercise that has a real-life element.

Police are using it as an opportunity to search for 20-year-old Ms Beattie, who disappeared last December.

"A lot of people involved in this exercise are involved in that search," SAR coordinator Sergeant Phil Simmonds says. 

"A lot of them feel like they have some unfinished business and are hoping to find her."

A base just as they use in emergencies has been set up at Loburn Primary School, with teams mapping areas yet to be searched for the missing woman.

The task involves more than 100 people. This is a large-scale search, which has had teams brought in from all over Canterbury from as far as Fairlie and Waipara. It's a job that will take place over Saturday and Sunday. 

"It's a chance to come train different techniques and sort out how capable we are," Sgt Simmonds says.

Training exercises don't get any more real than this.