A vulnerable missing person was found in dense woodland – thanks to a police drone and a bright pair of trainers.
Officers were called at around 5pm on Monday afternoon after concerns were raised for the safety of a young woman who’d gone missing from the Mansfield area.
As part of an extensive local search Nottinghamshire Police’s specialist drones unit was bought in to carry out an aerial survey of a dense area of woodland near Quarry Lane.
During its second flight the drone’s pilot was alerted to a flash of white sticking out from underneath a tree.
Using its powerful zoom camera the pilot was then able to confirm that what he’d seen was a pair of trainers being worn by the missing woman, who was sitting under a tree and otherwise sheltered from view.
She was supported at the scene by officers on the ground and was later taken to hospital.
PC Sarah Weller, from Nottinghamshire Police’s missing from home team, said: “We were really concerned for this young woman’s welfare and really needed to find her as quickly as possible. Thanks to the drone we were able to locate her in a very dense area of woodland that would have taken ground-based officers a very long time to search.
“In situations like this our drones can quite literally be a life saver so I am thankful to the team for conducting such an effective search and helping us to keep this person safe.”
Nottinghamshire Police’s drones unit was launched in January of this year. It has three drones and a team of trained pilots. It has now helped to locate 11 high risk missing people and has also supported officers to make dozens of arrests.