Monday, February 11, 2013
Station manager said the rescue could have cost the emergency services at least £4,000 an hour.
TWO men who drove a car into a river near Umberleigh on Sunday afternoon have been given a fixed penalty notice for wasting police time.
Emergency services were scrambled to reports of a Mitsubishi Pajero 4x4 stuck in a fast flowing river by Mole Cottage at Chittlehamholt with two men trapped inside.
One of the men managed to wade to safety, but the other remained in the vehicle and firemen had to rescue him using a boat.
Bideford fire station manager Graham Rooke said he did not condone the actions of the men, which had put the emergency services at risk.
He said: “They put themselves at risk and they put our crews at risk.
“With the police, fire service, ambulance, the ambulance’s hazardous area response team (HART) and a rescue helicopter called from Culdrose, the rescue probably cost at least £4,000 an hour.
“That’s a lot of tax payer’s money for someone getting themselves into that situation in the first place.”
The call came in at around 12.30pm and the man in the vehicle was safely returned to the bank by 1.30pm. Both men were unharmed in the incident.