Fire Service plead for safety around water as walkers rescued by crews

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021

STAFFORDSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service is once again reminding people of the need to take care while walking around bodies of water during heavy rainfall after two women had to be rescued.

The incident happened at around 2120 GMT yesterday (Tuesday 2 February) at Doxey Marshes in Stafford.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to the marshes, in Tillington, by one of the walkers who used the what3words app to inform the call centre exactly where they were stranded.

She said they were stuck in thigh-high water after the River Sow had burst its banks.

Crews from Stafford, Rising Brook and Newcastle-under-Lyme, plus a water rescue team from Newcastle-under-Lyme, were mobilised and the first crew was on the scene by 2140 GMT. They instructed the caller to switch the torch on their mobile phone on to help locate them.

West Midlands Ambulance Service were also requested to attend due to the fact the walkers, aged 19 and 20, said they had been in the water for more than one hour.

The water rescue team deployed four firefighters wearing dry suits who made it to where the walkers were stranded next to a pond and used a rescue sled to transport them both back to dry land.

They made it back to dry land shortly after 2300 GMT where they were transported to where ambulance crews were waiting.

Station manager Paul Shaw, who oversaw the incident, said:

“The crews worked quickly to try and locate the two stranded walkers in the dark and get them to safety. They had been stranded for some time.

“These incidents go to show that the utmost care should be taken when walking near to bodies of water after heavy rainfall – especially when walking in the dark.

“This could potentially have been more serious, but luckily in this case the water hadn’t gone above their thighs.

“We would like to remind the people of Staffordshire to please take care where they walk when rain has fallen, and if they are walking in the dark to make sure they have a torch and mobile phone with them to call for help if they need it and then provide us with their location using the what3words app.”

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On 4 January the Prime Minister announced that England was to enter a National Lockdown, meaning that we should all stay at home. 

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> You must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
> You must not leave your home unless necessary.
> Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or bubble.

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