Missing senior found safe after spending 2 nights outdoors
There was relief in the Comox Valley Monday after a 72-year-old man was located after he was missing since Saturday evening.
David Pineo suffers from speech and mobility issues after a series of strokes and there were concerns for his welfare after his scooter was discovered unmanned Saturday evening.
“It was pretty scary. We saw the keys missing. When we started looking around, we realized the river was really close and I got chills from seeing that,” says Justin Lagasse who located the scooter along a trail.
Lagasse was assisting his mother Suzanne Taylor in trying to find Pineo in Bracken Park after he went missing. Taylor is neighbours with the senior and wanted to ensure the man would see her familiar face amongst the rescuers after he had been located.
“He recognized me right away, he put thumbs up and that’s the best thing,” says Taylor.
The senior was found safe but dehydrated after spending two evenings outdoors.
“He looked . He just had a really bad headache. He is bush-wise and he was a diver before and he does have some experience so I’m glad, for being 72, being in the woods and getting cold at night,” Taylor says.
Seven volunteer search and rescue teams along with members of Oyster River Fire Rescue and the RCMP also tried to locate Pineo. Eventually it was a search dog and her handler from Nanaimo Search and Rescue who located him.
“Her ears were twitching and she’d perked up and she was quite interested in noise from the bushes so we stopped and listened and we could hear him yelling,” says Nanaimo Search and Rescue member Carly Trobridge.
Trobridge and team member Pamela Blaikie had stopped momentarily while conducting their search. She says Pineo was much more verbal than they initially believed he would be.
“He was very grateful and relieved to be found,” she says. “You could see he was exhausted, dehydrated, right away we gave him water and he kept asking for more water. He drank lots.”
Searchers hope to learn more about why the man ventured to where he did in the coming days once he has recovered.