Man saved in dramatic mud rescue

A BADLY injured man was saved from drowning yesterday after becoming stranded on mudflats by the River Orwell.Children on their school holidays raised the alarm when they saw the 21-year-old helpless and stranded in a remote site under the Orwell Bridge in Ipswich.

By Jonathan Barnes

A BADLY injured man was saved from drowning yesterday after becoming stranded on mudflats by the River Orwell.

Children on their school holidays raised the alarm when they saw the 21-year-old helpless and stranded in a remote site under the Orwell Bridge in Ipswich.

Emergency services managed to rescue the man, who is thought to have been there for some hours and believed to have suffered multiple injuries.


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A spokesman for Suffolk Fire Service said the man could have been drowned by the incoming tide if he had not been found until later in the day.

Police, fire, ambulance and the coastguard service were all involved in the rescue operation near Pond Hall Farm, in Gainsborough Lane just after 9.30am. The site is offset from the road and well away from any houses.

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The injured man was pulled to safety by police and fire officers before paramedics arrived. He was taken to hospital by the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Suffolk police officers visited the victim in hospital yesterday afternoon to try and gain a full account of what happened.

Frank Aubin-Hart, Thames Coastguard officer, said: "At 9.40am we received a call from the ambulance informing us that there was a man underneath the Orwell Bridge with possible injuries.

"Harwich inshore lifeboat and Felixstowe coastguard mud rescue team were also sent and we received information that the ambulance, police and fire brigade were attending.

"A young man gave us the details of where the chap was, but before the lifeboat arrived on the scene, the police and fire staff had rescued the man and he was taken to Ipswich Hospital by the Suffolk air ambulance.

"We believe that he had injuries to his leg, but the police later told us he had suffered multiple injuries."

James Powell, spokesman for Suffolk County Council, said: "Some kids spotted the man in the mud and alerted the emergency services.

"A couple of firefighters were the first to arrive and police officers soon after. They got him out then the ambulance arrived, followed by the air ambulance.

"It was a dramatic rescue as the water was coming in so they got to him just at the right time.

"The man was conscious and said he had been there for several hours."

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