A 79-year-old woman had a lucky escape tonight, thanks to a Wander Search pendant supplied by Tauranga Land Search and Rescue.
Tauranga Police were notified shortly after 5pm that the woman, who suffers from dementia, had wandered away from her home.
Fortunately, she was wearing a Wander Search pendant which had been supplied by Tauranga Land Search and Rescue after the woman had gone missing previously.
Due to the pendant signal, the search team was able to quickly narrow down the search area to a block of bush at the east end of Yatton Park.
The woman was unable to reply to the searchers' voice appeals and it was some time before she was located in the dense bush.
Senior Sergeant Craig Madden says it was apparent that the woman had gone as far as she could in the bush, then lay down, which is characteristic of a person suffering from dementia.
"Without the Wander Search pendant, we would not have found the missing woman tonight. She was in a very gnarly piece of bush and it was only because of the pendant that we were able to narrow down the search area.
"I'm confident that without the pendant she would've spent a very uncomfortable night in the bush and I wouldn't like to say what the outcome of that could've been."
If you have a family member who suffers from a dementia-related illness and you have concerns about their possible tendency to wander, or you would like to find out more about teh Wander Search pendant, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issued by Police Media Centre.