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, 14:49
Barnstaple Post Office in Boutport Street could be moving.

The Post Office is launching a consultation tomorrow (Wednesday) to close its Boutport Street branch and relocate to High Street shop.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00
North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Letter to Jeremy Hunt calls for assurances as petitions urging the protection of services attract thousands of signatures.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:38
North Devon Magistrates' Court.

Torrington man was twice the drink-drive limit when he spotted police officers and skidded his car to a halt.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:53
Phoebe Lewis-Carptener, 14, has written about the Mind, Body and Soul show.

Phoebe Lewis-Carptener, 14, gives an insight into the second ever Mind, Body and Soul Festival at The Big Sheep.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:44
Abbeyfield in Torrington celebrated its 30th birthday on Friday.

A Torrington charity brought together its supporters to celebrate 30 years since its opening.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:28

Two cows were rescued from a slurry pit at a farm in Shebbear yesterday (Monday) morning.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:13
North Devon Magistrates' Court.

Man who collided with two cars in one day was visiting hospice on anniversary of his grandfather’s death.

Read more
Mon, 15:14
Ilfracombe RNLI in ballet pose. Picture: RNLI/Jane Perrin

Volunteers gather for a Mayday photoshoot with a difference...

Read more
Mon, 14:28

Social media goes potty after convoy of blue light vehicles seen on Link Road and travelling through Barnstaple

Read more
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Scenes from Ilfracombe May Day 2016

Watch: The spirit of summer is released a day earlier than usual as Ilfracombe’s May Day celebrations enjoyed a good turn out

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

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