Thursday, June 11, 2009

RCMP Rescue 65 Year Old Woman

This Is What Makes
A Police Officers Day!

The Ladysmith RCMP, with the support of the Ladysmith Search and Rescue (SAR), Cowichan Valley SAR, and Nanaimo SAR, worked through the night in search of a 65 year old Ladysmith woman, suffering from Alzheimers. Police received a report from the lady's care giver at 9:45 pm last night, reporting she had not returned home after going for a walk. She had left for the walk at around 3:00 pm, and after failing to return home within her usual 2-4 hour time, the care giver went out looking for her, without success.

Ladysmith RCMP were contacted by the care giver, and initiated a search for the woman in the areas around her home, and those she frequents on her walks. The support of the Ladysmith Search and Rescue Team was called in.

The Ladysmith SAR Team was on the ground by 1:45 am this morning, and searched throughout the night. At first light (around 5 am), the assistance of the Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley SAR Teams was called in, to ensure maximum area was covered.

The RCMP Police Dog Service was also on scene, and assisted with a ground search of an area where the lady's jacket was found earlier in the morning. She was not located, and the trail being tracked by the dog, went cold. Undeterred and more committed, the searchers continued on, finding the ladies wallet on the forest floor. This find was relayed by ground SAR personnel to the RCMP helicopter, which was now in the area overhead. With a 'bird's eye view', crews onboard the RCMP's Air Service chopper focused on the area near where the wallet was found. They spotted the lady a short distance from ground search crews, in the Holland Creek Park area of Ladysmith.

Air crews guided the ground SAR Team to the lady, who was brought to an awaiting BC Ambulance Service crew. She was approximately 6 kilometers from her home, but likely traveled significantly more than that during the night. Police suspect that the effects of Alzheimers Disease, coupled with being lost on the trails of the park, led to the lady requiring rescue. At last report, she was in good physical condition, and spirits. Out of respect for her personal privacy, her identity will not be released.

"It is days like today that remind us why we do what we do", states Cpl. Darren Lagan of the Island District RCMP. "The efforts of the Search and Rescue personnel and our officers on the ground and in the air around Ladysmith, led to the safe return of a 65 year old woman, in need of our help. That is a good day at the office for us."

The RCMP across Vancouver Island extend our sincerest "thank you" to the men and women of the Search and Rescue Teams across the Island who are always ready and willing to step up and help. We are all safer as a result of their commitment.


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