Missing elderly male found west of Girilambone thanks to police drone and volunteers

An 88-year-old missing male was found safe and well thanks to the multi-agency response of emergency services. 

Emergency services were called after the elderly male went missing on a property west of Girilambone on October 21 around 3.pm. 

It was reported the man was out bush walking with friends when he continued ahead, not returning for a number of hours.

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Police engaged in a search with the assistance of neighbours, however the search was called off at about 11pm due to darkness. 

The search resumed at dawn the next morning with volunteers from the SES including Nyngan, Warren, Dubbo and Brewarrina, the Girilambone Rural Fire Service captain and a police rescue operator with a drone. Additional resources including trail bike police and Polair were also called. 

Police conducted a sweep of the area with a drone, ruling out sparsely forested areas and fence lines. 

Volunteers were able to locate tracks onto a neighbouring property where they found the male 10 kilometres from where he was last seen. 

The elderly gentleman was found suffering from dehydration and exhaustion and taken to Nyngan hospital where it appears he has made a full recovery.

Nyngan Police Sergeant Tony Wood said the incident not only demonstrates the positive use of new technologies, but also signifies how relevant human intervention remains.  

“This highlighted how useful [drones] can be,” Sergeant Wood said.

“While it wasn’t the drone that found the person, the drone was able to rule out large pieces of land where we were able to focus our volunteers.”

Sergeant Wood is reminding people to remain vigilant when visiting or exploring the region. 

“We encourage people to take care, take water and notify friends,” he said.

“We’ve previously had incidents where friends and family haven't notified us for a couple of days and often it’s too late, so again as soon as people have concerns don’t hesitate to call,” Sergeant Wood concluded.