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Great Bradley resident hailed heroes after helping Suffolk Police to locate missing pensioner

Villagers have been hailed as heroes by police after they helped officers save the life of a 76-year-old man who wandered off from his home.

Suffolk Police were called to the village at around 4pm yesterday to reports of the man having gone missing.

PC Rowan Saunders said: "The gentleman had been missing a long time and had other ailments. The weather was also horrendous yesterday so this made him a very high risk missing person."

PC Rowan Saunders after the missing man was found (29784612)
PC Rowan Saunders after the missing man was found (29784612)

Officers carried out searches in the village with the help of Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue volunteers. Suffolk Fire and Rescue also used their drone in an attempt to find the man.

"The local community came out and helped as soon as they realised that the man was missing," said PC Saunders.

"That was when information started coming through that could help us locate the man."

One member of the public offered to take PC Saunders and his partner PC Stuart Cirket out in his Gator buggy to allow them to search marsh land, an area PC Saunders said would otherwise have been 'impassable'.

"There was obviously method in our searching but we were just driving down as many footpaths as we could to try and find the man," he said.

"By a bit of sheer luck we came across him lying in the foetal position in a ditch covered in mud and water.

"It was only when he was seen shivering that we realised he was alive."

The man was taken back to the village at around 9pm, where he was invited into a stranger's house to keep warm.

"Members of the public agreed to open their front door and, despite the fact we were all covered in mud, allowed us to carry this man into their living room and give him first aid," said PC Saunders.

"If it wasn't for the kindness of these people, who also gave us blankets and cups of tea as well as shelter, I think this gentleman would have suffered much worse.

"We want to thank the public for providing vehicles, local knowledge and shelter, all of which saved this man's life."

PC Saunders also praised the what3words app, which helps police officers pinpoint the exact location of an emergency.

"It's free to us and it works very well in letting other officers know where I am as well as helping us to get to a person in need much quicker," he said.