Drone helps find missing woman in Corsham

6 September 2018, 16:45 | Updated: 6 September 2018, 16:48

Missing person in Corsham

The Wiltshire police drone has helped to find a missing 83-year-old year dementia patient in Corsham.

The drone is equipped with a thermal imaging camera which can be viewed live by officers on the ground to help them search large areas quickly. 

Within an hour, the drone located a heat source on the edge of a wooded area and on closer inspection, the outline of a person laying on the ground could be seen. 

The drone hovered over the area to directly above to guide officers on the ground in, and the patient was located. 

She had been outside for more than 5 hours and was suffering with exhaustion and pain as a result of the cold weather. 

Special Inspector Guy Sanders, who is operational manager for the Unmanned Aviation Support Group (UASG) and remote pilot in command of the operation said: "At around 8:45pm I was called to assist community officers search a wooded area for an 83yr old woman suffering dementia and having been missing for several hours. Obviously, due to her age, the illness and the dropping temperatures in the evening we were all really worried about her. 

''Luckily, the drone is able to cover huge areas, and the thermal camera picks up heat sources enabling us to clear the 'cold areas' quickly so we can focus on heat detail. I'm really glad we found her when we did" 

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: "Once again this new technology has saved the life of a vulnerable member of our community by getting out there, getting up there and getting the job done quickly. I am really proud of our Special Constabulary volunteers who give up their free time to do this and I'm committed to ensuring that Wiltshire remains at the forefront of technology to find new and better ways to protect our communities."