A FRANTIC search was launched to find an elderly man with Alzheimer's who left home in his pyjamas during the early hours.
It is understood the 81-year-old was reported missing by his distraught wife, who realised he had gone at around 5am yesterday.
Police and Coastguard officers scoured the area around the man's Port Talbot home.
An RAF helicopter was also scrambled.
Eventually the man was found wandering in a confused state along Aberavon Beach, after being out in the cold for around two hours.
Inspector Karl Eenmaa said: "We had a call regarding a missing person from the Sandfields estate at around 5am yesterday.
"That led to a co-ordinated search between the police, involving response officers and the dog team, the Coastguard and the RAF, which scrambled a helicopter.
"Fortunately there was a positive outcome, as the man was found by police officers on Aberavon Beach after around two hours.
"He was extremely disorientated and was taken by ambulance to hospital for checks.
"Hopefully he will be safe and well."
Mr Eenmaa said around half a dozen response officers were involved in the search, on top of the dogs section.
Coastguard teams from Port Talbot and Porthcawl were involved in the coastline search for the missing man.
Mr Eenmaa said it had not been raining but it had been very cold.
"The man was only wearing his pyjamas and if we had not found him when we did the consequences could have been a lot worse," he added.
A Coastguard spokeswoman said: "We were called out to assist the police search for a missing elderly man who was suffering from Alzheimer's.
"We would have searched the promenade and seafront area, which is our jurisdiction.
"The teams were all volunteers, who were called out to join the search before going on to their full-time jobs."