Cowichan Search and Rescue is praising the actions of a member of the public who helped locate an elderly woman who went missing last week.
On March 31, Cowichan Search and Rescue responded to a report of an 86-year-old woman who had wandered away from a lakeside campground in Caycuse around 8 p.m., while her husband was fishing. The missing woman has dementia.
Trackers combed the area overnight. It was not until the next day, at approximately 9:30 a.m., that a passing motorist spotted the woman on the roadside about three kilometres north of the Caycuse campsite. The motorist alerted search and rescue members and brought them to the woman.
“She was in very good condition,” said Shauneen Nichols, a manager with Cowichan Search and Rescue. The woman was dehydrated, muddy and had scratches on one foot because she had lost her shoe, but otherwise she had no injuries.
Nichols said factors such as the dementia, the woman’s age and because it had been quite cold the night she was missing, had given the case a high urgency rating.
“It’s a myth that we have to wait 24 hours. Given the urgency we’re on it right away. We were travelling through your town at approximately 10:30 that night,” said Nichols.
“If you suspect someone is lost or missing, call the RCMP right away,” she said. “We would rather get started and have to stop than have to wait until it’s dark or it’s rained or feet have trampled all over the footprints of the missing person.”