Island police and fire, with a boost from future police officers, were able to successfully rescue an elderly man who went missing late Monday night.
A call reporting an 88-year-old man missing near Oyster Pond came in at 7:06 pm Monday. Edgartown officers went to the family’s home, and searched the surrounding area.
Edgartown Police enlisted assistance from the State Police, the Edgartown Fire Department, and the Dukes County Sheriff’s Department for the search. The State Police and the Coast Guard requested helicopter assistance, but neither could fly due to low cloud cover, according to Police Chief Bruce McNamee.
In a stroke of good fortune as the search was happening, a part-time police officer academy class being sponsored on the Island was conducting an applied patrol procedure, a scenario-based police tactics training, in the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest. The eight Island police officers and 15 recruits training in the forest came out to help expand the search.
McNamee said it was a great real-world opportunity to train the part-time officers on.
All of the recruits are Islanders training to become part-time officers on the Island. All the teachers were Island police officers as well.
“We couldn’t have been happier with the staff we were able to pull together for it,” McNamee said.
After two hours of searching, the man was found at a nearby property, brought home, and examined by EMS. McNamee said the man went out to empty garbage, but became disoriented due to the heavy fog in the area and the lack of lighting.
“He refused to be transported, but was otherwise in good spirits,” McNamee said. “I think he got turned around in the dark, and walked in the opposite direction of his house.”
McNamee praised the effort of the Island police and fire departments, as well as the neighbors who all contributed to the successful recovery.
The Salvation Army also arrived to set up a canteen trailer with provisions for the many involved in the search efforts.