An 87-year-old Blenheim woman has survived a fall into a creek only because her head stayed above the water.
Police said the woman, who has dementia and has also had a stroke, strayed from her rest home yesterday afternoon.
Marlborough Area Commander Inspector Simon Feltham said police were called when staff realised she was missing.
Shortly afterwards, officers found her lying in a stream on the grounds of the rest home, with only her head above the water.
She was taken to hospital with hypothermia, but is now in a stable condition.
Mr Feltham said if officers had not responded and found her so quickly, she may not have survived.