RAF lifts man from flood road

PUBLISHED: 11:42 26 January 2007 | UPDATED: 19:56 01 June 2010

A RESCUE bid costing thousands of pounds was launched to rescue a man who climbed a tree - and sat there for six hours - waiting to be rescued from flood water at Welney. One of those involved in the rescue said it was an extraordinary operation and said

A RESCUE bid costing thousands of pounds was launched to rescue a man who climbed a tree - and sat there for six hours - waiting to be rescued from flood water at Welney.

One of those involved in the rescue said it was an extraordinary operation and said the man, taken to hospital with hypothermia, ought to be billed after landing himself in difficulties after ignoring a 'road closed' sign.

The man, in his 40s and from Heacham, was eventually winched to hospital by an RAF Sea King helicopter but not before fire crews from Littleport, Cambridge, Outwell and Wisbech, police from Norfolk and Cambridge and ambulance crews - who waited either side of the flooded river - had been sent to the scene.

Rescuers believe he may have been stranded for between six and eight hours before anglers fishing on the nearby Delph heard his cries for help and raised the alarm on Sunday morning.

The man was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, at about 10am by an RAF Sea King helicopter.

The air sea rescue helicopter lowered a crew member to pick up the victim, who was waist-deep in water and hanging on to a tree branch.

Flight Lieutenant Andy Ball, said: "It was a pretty straight forward rescue and took only a few minutes as we spotted him in the water as soon as we arrived. It is pretty unusual for us to be called to deal with an inland water job."

Water on the Ouse Washes flood plain has risen to cover the A1101, leaving it impassable for most vehicles.

The Parish Council and South-West Norfolk MP Christopher Fraser are calling for action to resolve the problem, which is having a devastating impact on the lives of villagers.

The parish council has written to a number of government departments and organisations seeking help and trying to organise a coalition of villages to act together in raising the issue.

Yesterday a hospital spokesman said the man was recovering, but was still quite poorly.

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