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Plea to take care around bodies of water after heavy rainfall as two walkers need rescuing in Stafford

February 3 2021

This could potentially have been more serious, but luckily in this case the water hadn’t gone above their thighs.

Station Manager Paul Shaw

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to once again remind people of the need to take care while walking around bodies of water during heavy rainfall after two women had to be rescued from Doxey Marshes in Stafford yesterday (Tuesday 2 February).

We were called at about 9.20pm to the marshes, in Tillington, by one of the walkers who used the what3words app to inform the call centre exactly where they were stranded. She said they were stuck in thigh-high water after the River Sow had burst its banks.

Crews from Stafford, Rising Brook and Newcastle, plus a water rescue team from Newcastle, were mobilised and the first crew was on the scene by 9.40pm. They instructed the caller to switch the torch on their mobile phone on to help locate them.

West Midlands Ambulance Service were also requested to attend due to the fact the walkers, aged 19 and 20, said they had been in the water for more than one hour.

The water rescue team deployed four firefighters wearing dry suits. They made it to where the walkers were stranded next to a pond and used a rescue sled to transport them both back to dry land. They made it back at about 11.05pm where they were transported to where ambulance crews were waiting.

The walkers were finally with the ambulance crews by 11.20pm.

Station manager Paul Shaw, who oversaw the incident, said: “The crews worked quickly to try and locate the two stranded walkers in the dark and get them to safety. They had been stranded for some time.

“These incidents go to show that the utmost care should be taken when walking near to bodies of water after heavy rainfall – especially when walking in the dark.

“This could potentially have been more serious, but luckily in this case the water hadn’t gone above their thighs.

“We would like to remind the people of Staffordshire to please take care where they walk when rain has fallen, and if they are walking in the dark to make sure they have a torch and mobile phone with them to call for help if they need it and then provide us with their location using the what3words app.”