Community chips in to find lost woman

The small communities of Island Beach and Sapphiretown kicked into action on Saturday morning when tourist Patricia Russell, 79, was reported missing by her son.

It appeared Ms Russell had wandered off from their tourist accommodation in the early hours of the morning and become disorientated.

Sandy Carey at the Island Beach shop said residents pitched in with police, CFS and SES and Ms Russell was found at 2.15pm after she was spotted by the rescue helicopter about 2km from her accommodation.

A paramedic was dropped to the ground and Ms Russell, who was in good health, was walked out of the scrub. “Ben Cook reported some footprints around at his place, which sounds odd but when you live here you notice if things are different,” Ms Carey said.

“The scrub is so thick here it is not hard to get lost. This lady was lucky and her son said they did a lot of walking together so she was quite fit,” Ms Carey said.

Ms Carey and Mr Cook were among the locals who pitched in with the search.

“The input from everyone around here was amazing. Once again the community has rallied amd it was a good ending,” Ms Carey said.

The rescue helicopter at Island Beach. Picture: Barbara Glover.

The rescue helicopter at Island Beach. Picture: Barbara Glover.

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