Police chiefs have praised mountain rescue volunteers for the crucial role they played in finding a missing pensioner with dementia in Leeds.
Police chiefs have praised mountain rescue volunteers for the crucial role they played in the safe recovery of a missing pensioner in Leeds.
Members of Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team and Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team were called out on Boxing Day to assist with the search for an 83-year-old man with dementia who had gone missing from a care home in Allerton Bywater.
The area includes a number of different waterways and other bodies of water and there were serious concerns for the man’s welfare after he was reported missing earlier in the evening.
The area was also in complete darkness and with some challenging terrain.
The National Police Air Service helicopter was deployed to support the search effort on the ground by police, fire service and volunteers but was unable to locate him.
At about 2.40am, members of the mountain rescue team found the missing man off Park Lane.
He was suffering hypothermia and had some cuts to his head, arms and legs.
He was treated at the scene by ambulance staff and taken to Pinderfields Hospital where his temperature returned to normal and he is continuing to recover.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Jessup, of Leeds District, said: “This was an incident where we had very serious concerns for this vulnerable elderly man’s welfare and were literally in a race against time to find him before he could come to any harm.
“Officers were faced with some considerable challenges while trying to search a large area of difficult terrain during the hours of darkness.
“The expertise and assistance that the mountain rescue volunteers provided was absolutely crucial and without their efforts the outcome could have been very different.
“These are volunteers who regularly give up their own time to work alongside the emergency services to keep people safe and we want to recognise and thank them for their help and support, particularly at this time of year.”