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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

No time to spare - CRS volunteers launch to find 87-year-old man missing in freezing temperatures

CRS search team member

Volunteers of the Community Rescue Service (CRS) were tasked on Sunday night (7th January) after it was reported that an 87-year-old man had gone missing in the Mid Ulster area.

With freezing temperatures and no time to spare rescue teams launched to assist in the search for the elderly man. Police made a public appeal for help to find the man on Sunday evening shortly after 10:30pm.

Police said the missing man had been last seen on Main Street, Maghera earlier on Sunday evening at around 6:45pm, and asked local residents and property owners to check their outbuildings and sheds, and local business owners to check their CCTV footage.

Thankfully the dedicated and skilled CRS volunteers proved once again the importance of the vital service they provide across Northern Ireland when they set out to search for the vulnerable gentleman, and thankfully, found him on time.

CRS vehicle

Commenting on Monday, a spokesperson for the CRS said:

"Late yesterday evening, our volunteers were tasked to the Mid Ulster area to search for an elderly person missing for a few hours and determined as high risk due to the freezing conditions. With the temperatures set to drop into the night it was a race against time.

"A search plan was quickly put in place, volunteers briefed, and they began systematically working through their search areas. CRS also deployed one of their drones with thermal imaging capability.

"Searches were conducted by CRS and Police Mid Ulster.

"Late on Sunday night a CRS team located the missing person and with no time to spare quickly administered emergency aid before evacuating the person to a nearby house where the householder allowed us to continue treatment inside out of the cold."

"We would like to sincerely thank the family concerned for allowing us the use of their house while some of our volunteers continued to provide emergency care while awaiting an ambulance. The person was responsive and handed over to our colleagues from Northern Ireland Ambulance Service for transport to hospital for further care."

The service spokesperson added:

"We thank our volunteers for their dedication, some of whom where returning home after 2:00am. We also send our thanks to all of the local people in the area for their support and wish the missing person well and a speedy recovery."

The Search And Rescue Dog Association - (SARDA Ireland North) were also tasked to assist in the search.

Search And Rescue Dog Association - SARDA Ireland North vehicle
Search And Rescue Dog Association - SARDA Ireland North vehicle

A spokesperson for SARDA commented saying:

"The Search And Rescue Dog Association - SARDA Ireland North deployed five Search Dog teams late last night, at the request of the Police Mid Ulster, to assist in locating a high risk missing person.

"Time was of the essence as temperatures reached -5°C at times.

"Also on scene were the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Community Rescue Service Northern District, family members, friends and the local community.

"Thankfully, the gentleman was located and transferred for further assessment and treatment. We wish him a full and speedy recovery."


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