RCMP say a 78-year-old woman who was missing for four days near Innisfail, Alta., has been rescued by helicopter.
In a media release, RCMP said that following days of searching, crews found Lorraine Vandenbosch on Thursday morning. RCMP said Vandenbosch went missing Monday from Dickson Point Campground at Gleniffer Lake.
Crews found Vandenbosch around 9:30 a.m. in a heavily wooded area near the Dickson Trout Pond on a steep embankment.
Special Const. Al Miller, who flew the rescue helicopter, said Vandenbosch was identified as best as possible from the air.
“We do a lot of this, and so any time we find somebody, it’s certainly a happy feeling, that’s for sure,” Miller said.
“I can’t tell you what a great feeling it is to see the look on the family members’ faces when you bring their missing one back. So that was a great result. Fantastic day.”
He said the rescue was a “toe-in,” which meant just one of the helicopter’s skids was in contact with the ground.
Miller said an assessment made by crews and paramedics on the ground determined Vandenbosch couldn’t be walked out. Carrying her out was precarious as well due to the area’s steep slope.
Tactical flight officer Cpl. Kaylin Makeechak, who helped co-ordinate between Miller and the ground crew, spotted Vandenbosch in a bush on the cliffside. He said she was holding on to a branch on a slope.
“She’s conscious and alert and obviously confused because she had been missing since Monday,” he said.
Vandenbosch is receiving precautionary medical attention and is with her family, RCMP said.
RCMP said search and rescue teams from Red Deer County, Rocky Mountain House, Sundre and Wetaskiwin helped search, along with Red Deer County Patrol, Innisfail Fire Department, Red Deer County Fire Department, Spruceview Fire Department, Alberta conservation officers, Raven Crime Watch and mounted horse volunteers.
RCMP said Spruceview Bakery and Red Deer Costco provided food to the teams, which allowed them to continue working long hours.
Innisfail is about 100 kilometres north of Calgary.