Huge Qualicum Beach search a success

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue and Oceanside RCMP were joined by police dog services and other search and rescue organizations.

Ian Hollier of Qualicum Beach

Ian Hollier of Qualicum Beach

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue and Oceanside RCMP were joined by police dog services and search and rescue organizations from all over the Island last weekend to find 70-year-old Iain Hollier.

“He’s had dementia for four years and he had apparantly wandered off in March in Sydney and was found 12 km away, so we had no sense of direction,” said ASR search manager Ken Neden.

His wife reported Hollier missing the morning of Thursday, July 10 after he failed to return from his nightly walk the night before.

That night about 30 ASR members began to search from his home in the 600 block of Alder Street and searched all night without luck.

The next day they were joined by searchers from up and down the Island, and about 70 people searched all day Friday and into Saturday until a resident on Bennet Road found him disoriented but otherwise okay in a remote back corner of their property.

“Surprisingly he was not in bad shape, he was not sunburned, he was not even dehydrated,” Neden said.

He pointed out that the man’s wife took a pamphlet for the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation’s Project Lifesaver, in which people with dementia wear radio transmitters that notify police when they wander too far.

Neden said the year old program would have made it easy for them to track and find the man within hours, if not minutes.

For more information call Lifeline at 250-947-8213 or e-mail lifeline@nanaimohospitalfoundation.com.