Arrowsmith Search and Rescue members of their Swift Water Rescue Team help out at the 2020 RDN Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s day. (submitted photo)

Arrowsmith SAR crews help locate missing Qualicum Beach senior

Group also busy on New Year’s day with polar bear swim

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue had a busy start to the New Year.

At 4:45 a.m. on Jan. 1, ASAR received a call about an elderly man who went missing in the Qualicum Beach area. Twenty-three members were deployed to help in the search.

The man, believed to be in his 80s, had wandered away from his home earlier that morning. A search was conducted by the Oceanside RCMP and ASAR members along the roads and bush areas in the vicinity of the man’s home. It ended on a happy note when they located the man at approximately 8:30 a.m.

The man was was cold and tired but not injured.

Following the search ASAR members contributed to the fun and festivities at the RDN Polar Bear Swim at the Parksville Community Beach Park with members of their Swift Water Rescue Team providing safety for the “bears” in the water and other members watching from the shore.

Firefighters from the Parksville Fire Department were also present.

READ MORE: Arrowsmith Search and Rescue looking for new recruits

Meanwhile, ASAR members are relying on modern technology to improve many aspects of life.

They are now using an international program, Project Lifesave International, developed in the U.S., to quickly locate those people who, because of a cognitive impairment such as dementia, or traumatic brain injury are at risk of of wandering and getting lost.

The program is administered through the Nanaimo Lifeline (250-947-8213). The people affected are provided with a watch-sized transmitter which they wear on their wrists 24 hours a day. If and when they are reported missing, members of ASAR can track the signal using mobile receivers. This can cut down search times from days to, in some cases, minutes once the call for help is made.

NEWS Staff, submitted

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