By Briar Marbeck and Kim Vinnell
A man who found Bill Davies lying down on a golf course this morning says emergency services had to cut through netting to rescue the elderly man.
The 74-year-old had been missing since last Wednesday after he walked out of his rest home in Albany, on Auckland's North Shore.
Police, search teams and Mr Davies' family had been scouring the area for five days, but found no clues as to his whereabouts.
But this morning Mr Davies was found lying motionless in some bush next to the driving range at North Shore Golf Club.
His rescuer, 36-year-old Dane Hawker, said he thought Mr Davies was dead when he discovered him this morning.
"He was not in a good way when I found him," Mr Hawker said.
Mr Davies was attended to by paramedics before being rushed to hospital in a serious condition, where he is now recovering.
He suffers from a condition known as PSP, which requires daily medication and affects his mobility, balance and ability to think clearly. He also requires a walker.
The area Mr Davies was lying in was netted off from the driving range, and emergency services had to cut through the netting to get to him.
North Shore Golf Course operations manager Bruce Davies believes the grandfather-of-three had been lying there for a while.
"You can see that he has collected golf balls over the past five days… We're unsure of where he came in and moved to, but from the state of the shrubbery and weeds here he's obviously laid here for some considerable time."
The golf course had already been searched by rescue teams, but Mr Davies was not there.
It's not the first time he'd escaped from his care facility – but on previous occasions, he'd only ever taken day trips.