Missing elderly man found in Whangamata

00:10, Dec 29 2012

A 75-year-old man with Alzheimer's disease who went missing in Whangamata earlier today has been found after a tracking device was activated.

Auckland man, James Goldsworthy was reported missing by family from a place in Ocean Rd about 7am.

He was found around 11am this morning.

"Fortunately Mr Goldsworthy had been subscribed to a radio tracking system which, on the arrival of a tracking device from Thames, was able to successfully locate him within 16 minutes of the system being deployed," said Constable Brian Connors of the Waikato search and rescue squad.

The tracking system - known as Wanda-Search - involves people pendants that send out a radio signal that can be tracked.

People using the device are usually referred by the doctor. Users typically include Alzeihmer's patients, victims of brain injury and some autistic children.

"The difference the system makes is considerable. Earlier in the year we were faced with a similar situation where 680 search hours were taken to locate a missing person where as here, it took just over a quarter of an hour to locate Mr Goldsworthy," said Connors.