An elderly woman that walked away from staff at Mason General Hospital was found in a nearby canyon over the weekend, with the help of an infrared camera. Lieutenant Les Watson with the Shelton Police Department tells KBKW Saturday evening January 10, 2015 at about 7:30 Shelton Police were dispatched to Mason General Hospital for a report of a missing, disoriented 70 year old female who had walked away from the medical facility. Shelton Police Officers, with the assistance of Mason County Sheriff’s Deputies, Squaxin Island Police Officers and personnel from Central Mason Fire and EMS, conducted an initial canvas of the area, then a K-9 search. Searching units were unable to locate the subject.
Approximately two hours after the initial report to police, firefighters from Central Mason Fire and EMS, using a device called a FLIR (forward looking infrared) located a “hot spot” in the wooded ravine that runs between North 13th and Northcliff Road. The “hot spot” was confirmed to be the missing female who was stranded at the bottom of the canyon. With the assistance of rope rescue teams from Fire District 4, 6 and 11, the subject was extracted from the bottom of the ravine which was reported to be about 75 feet deep at that location.
The female subject was interactive with responding rescue units. She was suffering from the results of hypothermia and has some injuries from a fall. She was transported to Mason General Hospital by ambulance.
The Mason County Division of Emergency Management assisted in this event by beginning a search callout, however because of the timely response by first responders the patient was located before most of the search resources were on scene.