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Mother and daughter rescued after car submerged by flood water

09:26 12 October 2012



The pair had a lucky escape after climbing into a tree to avoid the rapidly rising flood water.

A MOTHER and daughter were rescued from a tree yesterday evening (Thur) after their car became trapped in rapidly rising flood water.

The pair were forced to climb onto the sunroof of the vehicle to escape the water.

As the car washed downstream and became completely submerged, the mother and her 13-year-old daughter managed to escape by climbing a tree.

The young girl alerted the emergency services to their plight on the Sheepwash Bridge around 7.15pm.

On arrival, crews from Hatherleigh, Torrington and the Specialist Rescue Team from Barnstaple found the mother and daughter in the tree.

Crews quickly passed an inflatable hose line down to the stranded pair to support their precarious position, while Watch Manager Kevin Drew requested back up from Okehampton and North Tawton to provide a safety net downstream.

A search and rescue helicopter from Culdrose attempted to rescue the pair, but could not reach them due to a tree canopy blocking a clear path to the incident.

The mother and daughter were eventually rescued by Barnstaple’s rescue boat, supported by a crew from the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) provided by the ambulance service.

Specialist Rescue Advisor, for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service Martin Davis said: “This was truly a multi-agency response, involving the military helicopter, the HART response crew and the Fire Service with a united and common aim to save a mother and daughter in perilous danger

“The success of the rescue was down to the measures put in place by the first crews in attendance and the rescue plan carried out by the Specialist Rescue Team allowing a time critical rescue to be carried out with great success in dark and difficult conditions.”

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue has warned the public not to attempt negotiating flooded roads and to avoid unnecessary journeys in flood conditions.

The force also praised the young girl girl for the vital information she passed enabling the emergency services to respond directly to the rural location.

Were you the pair rescued by the fire service? Or did you witness the rescue? Call the newsdesk on 01271 345056 or email

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