An incident attended by East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service in which a car left the road and entered a river is to be aired on national TV.
The incident occurred on Wallsend Road, Pevensey, last Thursday (April 19th) just before 11pm. A BBC ‘Real Rescues’ film crew was there to capture the moment when crews from Pevensey, Eastbourne, Battle and Crowborough used specialist equipment to deal with the situation.
Both Crowborough’s Swift Water Rescue team and Battle’s Technical Rescue Unit were called in after reports that the car, which was fully submerged in water, possibly had a person trapped inside. One man was located by police in a neighbouring field semi-conscious, after escaping from the vehicle and swimming to safety.
A specialist crew set-up an inflatable rescue path, which enabled firefighters to reach the vehicle and carry out a search of the vehicle and river banks. A specialist Water Rescue Team then entered the water to check inside the car. A winch cable was then attached to the car, which was then pulled to the side of the bank and drained from water.
The Environment Agency was also called, in case it was necessary to open the nearby sluice gate to lower the river level.
Incident Commander Neal Robinson said:
“This was a challenging incident given that it was initially believed someone was trapped inside the vehicle. Thankfully, it was a happy ending with no-one trapped. East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is fortunate enough to have a specially trained team to help at these types of incidents.”
The United Kingdom has in recent years experienced a number of significant flooding events - causing major damage to property, massive human displacement and, in some cases, loss of life.
ESFRS, having recognised the risk to its communities, responded by enhancing its operational preparedness for water-related incidents.