Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue provided a couple of K9 teams for a successful search on the Saanich Peninsula this past weekend, as member Axl found a 75-year-old woman is his first search. Facebook photo, CVGSAR

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue provided a couple of K9 teams for a successful search on the Saanich Peninsula this past weekend, as member Axl found a 75-year-old woman is his first search. Facebook photo, CVGSAR

Dog from Island team finds missing woman in his first SAR mission

Comox Valley sent K9 teams to help with weekend search on Saanich Peninsula

It was the first search for new search dog Axl on Saturday, and it turned out to be a success for the golden retriever.

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSAR) K9 team sent a couple of its K9 units south to assist the Peninsula Emergency Measures Organization (PEMO) with a search for a missing 75-year-old woman on the Saanich Peninsula on Saturday. Ruizhen Wu had been missing since last Thursday before she was tracked down with the help of K9 unit.

“That was Axl’s first search as a certified dog,” said Paul Berry, president of CVGSAR.

PEMO said on Twitter that the woman was seen about 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, in the Cordova Bay area and confirmed a day later that she had been found. Berry estimates the K9 teams had been out searching for a couple of hours and said the planning team had done a good job of defining the search area in the previous days based on a statistical analysis of lost person behaviour.

RELATED STORY: Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue flies out injured hiker

Berry said this was a mutual aid situation where they were able to assist another search team by providing the K9 support.

“It was really just our dog resources. Two of our dog teams went down to assist in the search,” he said. “It’s certainly normal practice in the province when you have a large-scale search that you ask for mutual aid from neighbouring teams.”

K9 member Chris Smith brought along Axl and another golden retriever, Solo, while another member brought along her black lab.

Berry said the missing woman, who has Alzheimer’s, disappeared in a wooded area and probably travelled well over a kilometre into fairly heavy bush.

“Often, subjects with dementia wander until they get stuck,” he said.

CVGSAR has had multiple K9 teams for about six years, Berry said, with Smith having had three dogs take part over the years. On its website, the organization outlines the process dogs go through before they can become certified search dogs. This includes an assessment when they are between six months and two years old. Dogs and trainers are also validated annually.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ucluelet CAO Mark Boysen has resigned his position and is heading south-Island. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet CAO Mark Boysen resigns

Mayor Mayco Noel says he and his council “completely caught off guard”

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March. 6. (Westerly file photo)
Tofino councillor candidates identify differences

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new municipal councillors on March 6.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation man shot and killed by Tofino RCMP

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

The south coast of B.C. as capture by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. (European Space Agency)
VIDEO: Images of B.C.’s south coast from space released by European Space Agency

The satellite images focus on a variety of the region’s landmarks

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

FILE – Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Cirelli, left, shoots and scores his team’s first goal against Kelowna Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle during second period action at the Memorial Cup final in Quebec City on Sunday, May 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
B.C. government approves plan in principle to allow WHL to resume in the province

League includes Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants, Victoria Royals

The fundraising effort to purchase 40 hectares west of Cottonwood Lake announced its success this week. Photo: Submitted
Nelson society raises $400K to save regional park from logging project

The Nelson community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

A public health order has extended the types of health care professionals who can give the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
‘It’s great that midwives are included’ in rollout of B.C.’s COVID vaccine plan, says college

The order will help the province staff the mass vaccination clinics planned for April

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Canadian economy contracted 5.4 per cent in 2020, worst year on record

Drop was largely due to shutdowns in the spring as COVID began to spread

Most Read