Emergency crews fanned out across the Eaglecrest area last Friday to find an elderly resident who had wandered away from home.
Gordon Yelland, the search manager for the operation for Arrowsmith Search and Rescue, said ASAR got the call and began to ramp up operations at about 6 p.m. on Friday.
“It was a gentleman in the Eaglecrest area, about 84-years-old, who suffered from Alzheimer’s,” Yelland said. “He wandered away from home and his wife phoned it in.”
Searchers set up a base at the nearby Home Centre off Johnston Road and dispatched teams to drive and cycle the roads throughout the Eaglecrest neighbourhood and Yambury Road area.
“We managed to get a picture of the subject and when we started showing them around, somebody indicated they had seen him in the Parksville area,” Yelland said. “We sent a couple of teams to Parksville to start looking around on the streets and were also starting to gear up to send walking teams along the bluffs at Eaglecrest.”
The tip turned out to be true.
“Someone phoned in to the RCMP from the Morningstar area in a small cul de sac,” Yelland said. “The man had wandered onto their property and was standing there, looking bewildered. They phoned it in to the RCMP, who responded and confirmed it was our subject.”
The man was examined by an ambulance crew, at 8:30 p.m,. who found him exhausted and dehydrated, but otherwise no worse for wear.
Yelland noted this was not the first time the man had been the subject of a search.
“We had looked for this gentleman a year or two before,” he said. “That time he was found on Village Way by a neighbour, who wondered why he was so far from home.”