Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Schoolchildren rescued from floodwater

Mill Hill, Farnham
11/01/2016 @ 09:08
Incident Number: 459
In attendance: 1 x Stansted


Firefighters came to the rescue of six schoolchildren trapped on a bus which was stuck in flood water.

The bus was stuck in a flooded narrow lane after a nearby stream overflowed following heavy rainfall overnight.

Leading Firefighter Dave Morland  said: “The bus was in a narrow lane and had stopped to let a lorry go the other way. The water was deeper than he expected.

"It seems as he waited, water entered the exhaust, causing the bus problems and the engine cut out leaving the driver and his six passengers stranded.

"We carried the children to the water bank, they were all very brave and we were pleased to get them safely out pof their predicament quickly and safely. A local company took them into their office where they warmed up."

Water rescue equipment, lines and life jackets were used in the rescue, which closed at 09:47hrs.

Incidents like this illustrate how important it is to be cautious when it comes to flooded roads.

Every year the Service rescues dozens of motorists who find themselves trapped after driving into flood water on the roads. These drivers not only risk the lives of themselves and their passengers they also tie up fire crews and rescue teams who could be needed elsewhere.

Divisional Officer Greg Keys said: "It is vital that motorists exercise a little common sense. Driving into water and hoping for the best is not an option, by the time you find out the water is too deep you are already trapped.

"Just a foot or two of water is enough to float a car and six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars; this depth can cause loss of control or possible stalling as water is sucked into the exhaust or washes into the air intake.

"When confronted with flood water the best thing to do is to find an alternative route. If there is no way round they should park safely and allow the water level to drop until it is safe to drive.

“Driving onto flood water and hoping for the best is not an option. Taking that kind of risk can be both dangerous and costly. You and your passengers could easily be swept away in water and once you are rescued the car will have suffered extensive damage which will be complex and costly to repair.”

 

Incident Images

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