Police in Corsham use drone to help find missing 83-year-old dementia patient

Credit: Wiltshire Police

Police in Wiltshire have released footage of the moment a drone helped find a missing dementia patient.

The 83-year-old had become lost in woods in Corsham, but officers were able to find her using thermal imaging to detect her body heat.

Believing the lady was at a high and potentially immediate risk of harm, officers called upon specially trained police search officers, the police dog handlers, a police helicopter Search and Rescue volunteers to search a wooded area near to where she was last seen.

Wiltshire Police says its 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 located a heat source on the edge of a wooded area. Credit: Wiltshire Police

The drone hovered over the area directly above to guide officers on the ground until they found the woman.

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

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said he was, "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."