Residents over Newport were woken just after 4 am on Thursday morning after the UK Coastguard helicopter rescue 175 was scrambled to the Isle of Wight.
The rescue helicopter has been called in to assist Hampshire Constabulary in the search for missing 44-year-old Charlotte Burch from Shanklin who is being classed as a high-risk missing person.
Police have spent Wednesday evening exploring many lines of enquiry in an attempt to locate the vulnerable lady, who left St Mary’s hospital in Newport without formally discharging herself.
The rescue helicopter has been called in to use its specialist FLAIR heat seeking camera. A search of the wooded area to the north of the hospital is being carried out by the team on board the helicopter.
Update: 5.17 am The rescue helicopter has been stood down after carrying out an hour-and-a-half search in open space and wooded areas around Newport
Hampshire Constabulary have yet to comment as to whether the search has concluded with a positive outcome.
Although the helicopter has now stood down, it’s understood that ground teams are to begin a full search within the next hour. The 44-year-old suffers from epilepsy and is not thought to have any medication with her. Despite appeals from family and on social media, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary have yet to issue an official formal appeal to the public despite concerns having been raised nearly twelve hours ago.
Update: 6.30am Police have issued a formal appeal: Can you help us find missing Charlotte Burch from the Isle of Wight?
The 44-year-old, from Shanklin, went missing from St Mary’s Hospital, in Newport, yesterday afternoon (January 9).
She left before she was discharged so we are all growing increasingly concerned for her welfare.
Our officers have spent the night looking for her and are now turning to you for your help as you head out this morning.
Charlotte left on foot and was last seen wearing a black speckled cardigan, a pink top and green trousers, which were provided by the hospital, and black boots with a fur trim.
She is described as being white, 5ft 6ins tall, f a slim built with shoulder length brown hair and wears glasses.
Have you seen anyone matching this description?.