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Elderly lady found by Swanage Coastguard

An elderly lady who went missing from a care home in Swanage was found alive after a successful search carried out by Dorset Police, Swanage Coastguard and members of the local community.

Dorset Police have, in particular, paid tribute to the work of the coastguard team. Without their effective and quick response, the missing lady may not have been so lucky.

The vulnerable lady, who went missing at approximately 7pm on Sunday 13 March 2011, left the Swanage care home grounds without money, a phone or coat.

A number of local people were alerted and assisted local police with an initial search of the area.

The coastguard was also called to assist with the search and very quickly mobilised a team to search the coastal area and footpaths near her home.

The lady was located by the coastguard in a copse, where she had slipped on a coastal footpath.

By this time she had been missing for over three hours and was very cold.

PC Moira Connolly, from Purbeck Police, said: “A frail elderly lady went missing from a care home in Swanage on a windy, cold night; this really could have resulted in disaster.

“The assistance of the skilled coastguard search team was invaluable in tracing the lady as it enabled a number of almost inaccessible areas to be checked in a relatively short time.

“We would also like to thank members of the public from the local community who, having been notified, assisted the police in looking out for the lady.”

“Thankfully, the result of this search was an extremely happy one for everyone involved.