An elderly dementia sufferer missing from his Waihi home for over 24 hours was located semi conscious in a drain by a Police helicopter overnight.
Sergeant Dave Litton of the Waihi Police said using its Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) camera, the Auckland based Police Eagle Helicopter, found the 77-year-old man in water in a drain near the intersection of SH2 and Ford Rd about 8.45pm.
"He was taken to Tauranga Hospital by ambulance in a status two condition suffering from hypothermia and we believe it was extremely fortunate he was found when he was which is a testament to the skill and professionalism of the search teams involved.
"We'd like to thank the Waihi public for all their assistance managing this search from all the people who contacted us through to all the locals who volunteered to help."
The officer in charge of the search, Sergeant Warren Shaw of the Waikato Police Search and Rescue Squad said over 50 searchers were involved in the operation, working in 15 teams.
"There wasn't a chance to thank everyone involved last night but for the record we would like to acknowledge the efforts of the volunteer Land SAR members who answered the call from throughout the Coromandel and Waikato, successes like this aren't possible without them."