Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Lost Burrows mum tells her story

09:30 09 October 2013

Natalie Curtis, with sons Bailey and Caleb at Braunton Burrows.

Natalie Curtis, with sons Bailey and Caleb at Braunton Burrows.

Archant

Bideford mum talks of frightening ordeal; after she and her sons had to be rescued by police helicopter from Braunton Burrows.

A Bideford teacher rescued with her young sons by police helicopter after becoming lost on Braunton Burrows has spoken of her frightening experience in the hope it will help others.

A commonplace early evening walk on Sunday, September 29 became a scary ordeal for Natalie Curtis and her boys Caleb and Bailey, aged 10 and three.

They set off about 5.45pm, a regular occurrence to allow Natalie’s husband Scott, who works nights as a baker, get some sleep.

But night fell quickly on the Burrows and the three became hopelessly disorientated in the dark, unable to find a path to the car park through the featureless dunes.

Natalie, a primary school supply teacher, picks up the story: “We walked a bit further, with Bailey getting a bit tired and slow. I looked around and realising we were lost as everything looked the same, began to feel scared and panic. I burst into tears.

“Caleb said ‘call the police mum’, which I did. They were very helpful and sent a policeman from Braunton who knew the area. Meanwhile the boys were beginning to get cold and it suddenly got very dark.”

It was too dark for foot patrols to find the trio, so the police helicopter was diverted on its way back from a job at Launceston.

“Caleb was quite frightened at this point, but Bailey wasn’t fazed at all,” continued Natalie.

“I had managed to calm down, as I knew I had to for the boys. Being out in the dark, not knowing exactly where we were and not seeing or hearing anyone can be pretty frightening.”

The helicopter arrived at around 7.55pm, the family were helped aboard and in a trice they were back at their car.

“When the helicopter arrived I was relieved and nearly cried with happiness,” said Natalie.

“We are extremely grateful to all who helped us and we thanked them. I felt like a terrible mum putting my boys in a situation like that and vow to plan more next time.

“I came forward because I wanted to advise people and help them avoid the same situation and also to show how much a helicopter is still needed here.

“This has made me aware I should always take drinks, coats, snacks and a torch wherever I go with the boys and preferably a map or compass. Or go somewhere more familiar!”

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 13:05
An estimated 500 people took part in a silent protest against cuts to services at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple on Tuesday morning. Picture: Tony Gussin

Update: Success Regime head responds as campaigners urge ‘no cuts to health services’ at the peaceful Red Line mass protest in Barnstaple

Read more
Yesterday, 10:20
The access to the site.

Planning inspector has given developers permission to build 200 new homes despite residents’ battle against proposals.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:53

Several vehicles damaged in fire after car caught ablaze in Concord Drive this morning (Tuesday).

Read more
Yesterday, 08:47
Protesters outside North Devon District Hospital today (Tuesday). Picture: Tony Gussin

Campaigners are urging people to wear red and turn out in force to support hospital services in North Devon.

Read more
Mon, 15:45
Marin Evans, 25, was killed in the collision at Okehampton.

Marin Evans, 25, from Bradford, was the passenger in a Ford Focus involved in the fatal collision on August 13 at Okehampton.

Read more
Mon, 15:19
North Devon Sinfonia perform at Maida Vale.

All Together Now: the Great Orchestra Challenge – Tuesday, August 30, BBC Four

Read more
Mon, 15:09
The stormy seas at Ilfracombe. Picture: Andrew Petty.

Coastguard and RNLI issue safety warnings as people gather to watch dangerous waves on coastline.

Read more
Mon, 13:03
The scene of the collision in Instow. Picture: PCSO Hannah Denton

The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to charges at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Read more
Mon, 12:23
Erin Short, from Bickington, has donated nearly nine-and-a-half inches of her hair to the Little Princess Trust. Picture: Contributed

Erin, 10, donates her hair to charity that makes real hair wigs for poorly children

Read more
Mon, 10:48
All the fun from the charity dog show on Saturday. Pictures: Graham Hobbs

Around 300 people braved the rain at Tapeley Park in Instow this weekend.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 16°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications