Man with dementia who wandered away from Parksville home found safe

Police located the man in Church Road near the Alberni Higheway

A man suffering from dementia was located unharmed Saturday after he wandered from his Parksville apartment, triggering a search by Oceanside RCMP and Arrowsmith Search and Rescue.

RCMP were called to the apartment on Moilliet Street at 10:45 a.m. May 21 by the man’s wife, who had discovered him missing at about 10 a.m. and who conducted her own search of the surrounding area before calling.

The man had been supplied with a Project Lifesaver bracelet by Arrowsmith SAR, so, after searching the residence and determining the man was not on site, RCMP called in SAR to employ its tracking system.

“The man had been missing for two hours when first reported to RCMP and had travelled some distance, so searchers weren’t able to pick up the signal near the home,” Arrowsmith SAR manager Ken Neden said in a written release. “Teams started search patterns, increasing in radius from the point last seen, using direction-finding receivers as well as standard search procedures.”

Before the tracking equipment located the bracelet’s signal, an RCMP corporal located the man on Church Road, near the Alberni Highway, lost but in good shape, RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman said. Foreman said that while the RCMP were able to quickly locate the man this time, the Project Lifesaver tracking system remains a valuable tool in aiding searchers in missing persons situations.

“Obviously those things are amazing,” said Foreman. “If we can’t locate the person, that is an excellent resource to have available.”

SAR tracking with the bracelet system begins with an aerial receiver mounted to a vehicle, which has a range of about a quarter-mile, Arrowsmith SAR spokesperson Barry Blair said.

When a signal is located, searchers leave the vehicle and use a hand-held unit that can pinpoint a signal a mile away. They can also triangulate a signal using both the hand-held and aerial units, if the subject is within range of both.

“This is for tracking purposes only, not surveillance,” Blair said.

“The only time we have our aerial up is when we’re called out for a search by RCMP. We are really trying to get the public aware of the Project Lifesaver program.”

— NEWS Staff and Arrowsmith SAR release

Just Posted

Police go on hunt for distracted drivers in Parksville Qualicum Beach

One motorist ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt and using a cellphone while driving

Motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash west of Whiskey Creek

Witnesses say three vehicles involved in collision; man in 70s confirmed dead

More units added to Parksville’s Corfield site

Supportive housing project progressing rapidly

Unique type of rock show at Parksville beach

WATCH: Rock art from youngsters and adults alike on display

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

Illegal cannabis club in Port Alberni ticketed again

RCMP seize cannabis, issue fine for second time in five months

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read