Warning issued after man suffers hypothermia following failed rescue attempt
Fire chief issues warning after man suffers hypothermia after attempting to rescue occupants of car submerged in water
A GOOD Samaritan who dived into freezing waters to save the occupants of this car needed treatment for hypothermia after discovering the driver and his passenger had already been rescued.
His well-meaning actions prompted emergency service workers to warn others to leave heroic acts of bravery to the professionals.
The incident happened after the 22-year-old driver of the silver Vauxhall Corsa failed to stop at a junction of the B4696 Spine Road East and Spine Road West, near Ashton Keynes, at around 9.45pm on February 12.
The driver and his passenger, who were both from Liverpool, escaped the vehicle before it became almost totally submerged and were picked up by a passer-by who took them to a nearby hotel before emergency services reached the scene.
After they had been rescued, a second passer-by arrived at the scene and saw the car with its headlights and windscreen wipers on and indicators flashing.
He promptly dived in to attempt a rescue. After discovering the car’s occupants had escaped, the unnamed 56-year old man had to be treated at the scene by paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service for hypothermia.
The incident was attended by firefighters from Cricklade and a specialist water rescue unit from Swindon.
Mark Altree, crew manager of the Swindon unit, said: “The man made an incredibly brave decision to go in the water, however, I have to recommend that people do not do this. The best thing they can do is pick up the phone and call us.
“We are very well trained and well equipped. We have the protection to deal with this type of thing, we are good at it. Do not add to the number of casualties by going into the water yourself.”