News

Lost woman located due to tracking bracelet

An elderly woman who wandered away from Costco was located Saturday afternoon after a 90-minute search aided by her Operation Lifesaver tracking bracelet.

The woman was reported missing from Costco Wholesale store, 955 W. Washington St., about 2 p.m. Saturday, said Sequim Police Lt. Sheri Crain.

Dispatchers contacted the Operation Lifesaver personnel with Clallam County Fire District 3 and the Sequim Police Department and they were ready to search within 45 minutes, she said.

The woman was located an hour later picking flowers in a residential yard near City Hall, Crain said.

"She's wandered before and has been found before. She's been signed up for a while. This one was fairly typical.

"Thankfully, the search was short. Anything we can do to get the word out is good because it's a good program," Crain said.

The Sequim Police Department's three-year-old Project Lifesaver Program fits people vulnerable to disorientation or wandering, such as Alzheimer's patients, with a bracelet containing a waterproof radio transmitter about the size of a watch.

Then Sequim Police and Clallam County Fire District 3 can use one of their four radio receivers to obtain a "ping" from the transmitter and locate the missing person.

The transmitter emits a unique radio frequency that can be detected by radio receivers up to a mile away using handheld and vehicle-mounted antennas. The receiver also can be tracked by helicopter.

In early June, the city received $20,000 from the Ray and Donna Guerin Family Foundation to buy life-saving tracking bracelets.

Crain said news of the grant award for the program attracted new volunteers to the program.

"It's wonderful weather now and we're not as worried about people being gone. But as we get into the winter, this will be a really fantastic program," she said.



Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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