Had it not been for a drone, Peter Pugh might not have been alive today.

It all started with a family walk. The Telegraph reports that the 75-year-old man was out for an evening stroll with his family on Saturday at around 5 pm on Brancaster Beach in Norfolk, England, when he got separated from his group. While trying to take a shortcut home, Pugh fell into muddy marshes and dense reed beds at Titchwell.

Meanwhile, his family reported him missing and Norfolk Police embarked on a search and rescue mission, along with HM Coastguard, Hunstanton and Wells inshore lifeboat and Norfolk Lowland and Search Service – a team of about 50 people. To worsen things, it started to rain heavily, but the search continued.

Finally, after about 20 hours of searching, Sergeant Danny Leach launched his drone on Sunday afternoon. Soon, he spotted Pugh via the camera in his drone in the marshland and immediately guided a rescue team through the marshes to rescue him. The team pulled Pugh out – who is now alive and well – and immediately packed him off to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn to treat him for hypothermia.

Sergeant Alex Bucher, the man who helped coordinate the search operation, noted, “There is no doubt that without the police drone we would not have been able to locate him in the time we did. The police drone allows us to search areas that are difficult to access and within close range where a helicopter may not be able to get.”