Community spirit aids search for missing OAP

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A plea to help find an elderly lady with dementia who went missing from her home proved community spirit is still alive and kicking in the district.

Dorothy Barber, 76, disappeared from her home in Silverdale on Saturday sparking a major search operation involving police, the RNLI and Bowland Mountain Rescue.

But a radio announcement on Sunday morning, as well as appeals by the police carried on the Visitor social media accounst, spurred even more people from the village of Silverdale and further afield to join in to look for Dorothy.

One woman from Heysham who joined the search, said: “Me and my partner heard it on the radio on Sunday morning and went to Silverdale to join the search.

“We searched in the woods but didn’t find her.

“There were posters up in the village and we saw a lot of other people searching as well.

“The whole village was out and had pulled together in the search.

“We just wanted to help and I knew Silverdale and the terrain.”

Lancashire Police had appealed for help after Dorothy went missing after being last seen in the Shore Road area of Silverdale at about 5.30pm on Saturday, June 28. The police helicopter was sent to the scene to join in the search and Morecambe’s RNLI hovercraft was sent to assist Arnside Coastguard in a search of the shoreline.

The Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team were called out on Saturday evening to search for the missing 76 year old woman.

A search was launched includingLancashire Fire & Rescue’s urban search unit and four search dogs.

Search areas started at the lady’s last known position and spread out over an area of some two square kilometres.

After some eight hours the search wassuspended at 4am on Sunday morning and more resources were ordered for an early hours start.

Shortly after the re­start the lady was found by Kendal Mountain Rescue Team.

The lady was checked out by the teams doctor before being transferred to hospital forchecks.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: “Dorothy was found safe and well in Silverdale and was reunited with her family.

“Our thanks go out to all the local community volunteers who helped.

“It was a true community effort that has ended happily.”

*Morecambe’s inshore lifeboat was launched at 9.40pm on Sunday evening to reports of a man trapped in sand near the Battery in Heysham. The man, who was being helped by another man, both of whom were distressed, were taken to the hovercraft station and transferred to waiting ambulance crews.