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Appeal to trace missing 88-year-old man with dementia 

James Mainland left his home in the Birsay part of Orkney on Saturday morning.

James Mainland: Dementia-sufferer missing since Saturday.
James Mainland: Dementia-sufferer missing since Saturday.

An appeal has been launched to find an 88-year-old man with dementia who went missing from his home in Orkney.

James Mainland left his home in the Birsay part of the islands at around 6.30am on Saturday morning and police are increasingly concerned for his welfare.

It is believed he will stay in Birsay and will hide from members of the public.

He may also be violent if approached by people he does not know.

Mr Mainland is described as 5ft 8in, of slim build, and unsteady on his feet, with blue eyes, short white hair and a short white beard.

At the time he left home he was wearing a blue body warmer, purple top, black trousers and brown slippers.

There was a potential sighting of Mr Mainland at around 5.30pm on Saturday in Midhouse near the Barony Hotel, on the north shore of the Boardhouse Loch.

This is an unconfirmed report from a member of the public who had spoken to an angler who had been fishing there.

Police are asking the angler, or anyone who may have seen the 88-year-old, to come forward.

'You can help us by checking and rechecking any outbuildings, garages or sheds you have in case he has taken shelter overnight.'
Chief inspector Matthew Webb

Chief inspector Matthew Webb, leading the search, said: "We are currently trying to establish if this was indeed Mr Mainland and would encourage anyone else with other potential sightings over the last 24 hours to please get in touch as a matter of urgency.

"A search team dedicated to finding him will be focusing their efforts in and around the loch today, with support from Police Scotland's dog unit, specialist police search advisors and the coastguard which is also dedicating valuable resources.

"This encompasses some challenging terrain which requires specialist knowledge and skills.

"We know that the local community will want Mr Mainland to be found as soon as possible and I would like to thank all those who have shared our appeal for information so far.

"You can help us by checking and rechecking any outbuildings, garages or sheds you have in case he has taken shelter overnight."

He added: "I would also ask the same of any docked boats around the loch.

"You may have checked these spots already however we are a number of hours on now and there is every possibility Mr Mainland is still on the move in the area.

"Please also ensure any boats you do have are still there.

"We are in close contact with his family as our searches continue and are keeping them informed of any developments.

"Our ultimate aim is to get Mr Mainland home safe as soon as possible."

Anyone who spots Mr Mainland or has any other information is asked to contact police in Orkney on 101.

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