Fire crews wade in to save taxi driver after car plunges into river

A TAXI driver was saved in a dramatic rescue after his car plunged into a Fenland river.

The motorist, known only as Dennis, was marooned in a 10ft deep dyke in Honeyhill Road, Gorefield after his vehicle left the road on a bend at 7.06am on Wednesday (August 18).

Bruised and shaken, he then sat on top of the car as it floated in the ditch while he desperately waited for fire fighters to throw him a lifeline as his passenger called for help.

Crews from Wisbech and Dogsthorpe fire stations later placed an inflatable mud path used in snow and mountain rescues between the riverbank and the car so they could lead the shivering casualty to safety.

Wisbech fire station watch manager Phil Pilbeam said: “The driver managed to scramble on to the top of the car and stayed there until we arrived.

“He was shaken, had cuts and bruises and was shivering. He was very, very cold but we reassured him and kept him calm while we carried out the rescue.”

The car ended up in the North Level Drain after the driver was taking an early-morning passenger to his destination.

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The customer managed to escape and get to dry land but the driver, a non-swimmer, could only reach the top of his vehicle as it was stranded in the ditch.

When fire fighters arrived they threw him a life jacket and floating line in case he fell into the water.

They then set about creating the inflatable path and talked to him for up to half an hour to keep him calm as they completed the rescue.

Mr Pilbeam added: “People think we can just arrive and jump in but there is a bit more to it than that.”

Two fire fighters wearing dry suits then walked across the platform to rescue the casualty. He was taken to hospital by ambulance with cuts and bruises but is not believed to be seriously harmed.

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