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A close call - a moment of danger when life can hang in the balance.
I could die here, this is really serious.
A split second where the outcome could go either way.
-Right, call 999 now.
-The difference between disaster and survival.
You could see it on the faces of the crew how life-threatening this was.
Why would you need to swim? Apparently, they're supposed to still be on a boat.
These are the people that have been there and lived to tell the tale.
I thought she had died.
It's a day they'll never forget -
the day they had a close call.
Today on Close Calls...
..two walkers and their dog are lost in the Cairngorms.
They've been missing for 24 hours.
Rescue workers battle through a blizzard,
but hopes of finding them are fading fast.
There was no question just how serious it was.
They would not survive another night.
And...a mum driving home with her two young daughters
collapses at the wheel. Nine-year-old Lily calls 999.
Also today...a regular customer at a local bakery.
He's about to open the door when a car comes from nowhere and crashes
into the shop front. Staff find him collapsed outside.
It looked to me like his legs were broken.
He was dazed.
It's like he didn't know where he was or who he was.
The Cairngorm Mountains in the Eastern Highlands of Scotland.
A mountain rescue team battle through a blizzard,
desperately searching for two walkers who've been lost
on the hills for more than 24 hours.
Chances of finding the couple alive are vanishing by the second.
Winter mountaineering in the Highlands, here in the Cairngorms,
is really quite a serious undertaking.
If something goes wrong, it could easily become quite tragic.
Bob and Cathy live in a rural area of Leicestershire
and both love the outdoor life.
We don't really like being stuck inside.
We'd much sooner go for a walk than sit and watch the television.
Their holidays always revolve around adventure.
Walking, we enjoy skiing, cycling.
Mainly outdoor activities, really.
Joining Cathy and Bob on many of their trips is eight-year-old Meg,
their Border collie.
She's just got such a fantastic personality.
She's a very happy, friendly little dog.
One of their favourite places to go walking is the Scottish hills.
We've been doing it for 30 years now, walking the Scottish hills,
right from the north of Scotland, down to Glencoe.
We just like the wildness.
Some of the sites, in Scotland,
when you're up on these mountains, is absolutely breathtaking.
It's New Year's Day in the Cairngorm National Park.
Bob, Cathy and Meg are spending the festive period in their caravan
on the Glenmore campsite.
We've been going to Scotland now every Christmas and New Year
in the caravan for the last 20-odd years.
We always go to the same place.
Today, the keen walkers are heading out with Meg on a 25km hike.
Their route will take them 1,245 metres up
to the summit of Cairngorm, then back home on established paths.
This should take them about nine hours, but with the sun setting
at around 3pm during the Highland winter months,
it's an ambitious plan. However, the experienced walkers
are fully equipped, with a compass, food,
warm drinks and survival bags.
I knew it was going to be a long walk.
Probably, we would need the head torches for the last, sort of,
three or four hours.
Cathy checks the notoriously unpredictable Highland weather.
But it's looking good, so at 10:30am, they set off.
We start off on this walk, a little bit of snow, but it wasn't too bad.
But three hours into the walk, the snow gets deeper underfoot.
We were up to our sort of knees and thighs in the snow in places
where the snow had built up by the wind.
Cathy's finding it hard going,
and by 3:30pm, they're severely behind schedule.
Plus it's almost dark and the weather is deteriorating.
After about five or six hours, cos I was so slow, it really,
really hampered the walk.
The couple have no option but to push on.
The quickest route back to safety is now up to the summit and down.
Back at the campsite, it's snowing hard and a blizzard is forecast.
One of Cathy and Bob's neighbours is concerned.
She calls the police, who send out an alert
to the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue team.
Willie Anderson is team leader,
and with 35 years' experience, he knows this treacherous terrain
better than anyone.
Winter mountaineering in the Highlands, here in the Cairngorms,
is really quite a serious undertaking.
If something goes wrong, it could easily, easily become quite tragic
and very serious.
Temperatures are now well below freezing.
Willie knows anyone still out on the mountain is in great danger.
Straight away, he deploys a Search and Rescue helicopter
and a 12-strong team on foot to scour the 100 square miles
of Cairngorm National Park.
We had an idea of the route that they were planning,
and I knew myself that the weather had been terrible
and that night was shaping up with a blizzard.
Still some way below the summit,
Cathy and Bob battle on, using small head torches to navigate
their way in the pitch-black.
We'd been walking the best part of, maybe, ten or 11 hours.
Cathy was really struggling. So she was really tired.
In fact, she's utterly exhausted.
They have to stop.
The temperature is now -25.
If you've got to spend the night on a mountain,
and the weather's not good, what is your chance of survival?
Theirs is getting slimmer.
It's gone 1am, they're nearly 1,000 metres up,
and all that's between them and freezing to death
is a thin survival bag. They climb in with Meg between them.
You don't go to sleep. If you did, you probably wouldn't wake up again.
The search teams have been out on the mountain for seven hours
before they get a breakthrough. At 4:30am,
the helicopter crew spot a trail of footprints and paw prints.
But the aircraft can't continue to fly.
They couldn't get any higher, because the clag was down,
the mist was down, and it was snowing on the tops.
So they had to return to base.
And after 12 arduous hours on the mountain,
the search party on the ground are also forced to withdraw to rest.
Somewhere near the summit of Cairngorm,
huddled in their survival bag, Bob, Cathy and Meg face the night alone.
Later, the couple make another attempt
to get back down the mountain,
but once again, conditions are against them.
We were just headed into this white oblivion.
It was like one step forward and two steps back.
Boothstown, Greater Manchester.
It's a winter's evening
when a 999 call comes into the emergency services.
It's from a terrified nine-year-old girl.
The girl's mother has suddenly blacked out in the car.
Her eyes were rolled upwards
and she just looked like the sickest thing ever.
Boothstown is a residential area in Greater Manchester.
It's home to Claire and her two daughters - Lily, aged nine,
-and Eva, who's six.
-What are you drawing?
-I'm drawing a doggy.
-A cat crossed with a horse.
Me and my children, it's just the three of us.
I worked a long time in the travel industry, which I loved...
Draw a picture of me and Lily.
..but now I'm a dedicated mum.
Yeah, I really love her very much, she looks after us very well.
Lily's my eldest and she's very confident.
I kind of like acting a little and singing.
I want to be a lawyer when I'm older, though.
And then Eva, she's very matter-of-fact,
but she's very loving.
I love my mummy very much.
Too much to describe.
Claire values every moment spent with her children.
She very nearly lost her own life
when she was younger than they are now.
When I was very young, around five,
I was unlucky to contract meningitis,
and that left me with a condition
that's really been with me all my life.
As a child, and later as a teenager, Claire was often ill
and suffered blackouts.
She hasn't had one for 16 years, but has still made sure Lily
and Eva know what to do if ever she's taken ill.
Most mums tell their children how to dial 999,
but with having a pre-existing medical condition,
I think it's been quite important.
One Sunday night in November, Claire's precautions pay off.
The family have been out for a roast dinner at a friend's house
in nearby Wigan. They head home just after 8pm.
I'd say we'd been driving about five minutes,
and I started to feel quite unwell.
Sick, really, with a bit of a headache.
It's a cold evening.
Claire's keen to get home and put the girls to bed.
She hopes her symptoms may just be the start of a winter bug
and keeps driving.
As I progressed down the East Lancs,
which is a very, very busy road, I realised that it was possibly more.
I thought, "Oh, no."
Claire hasn't had this feeling for 16 years,
but she knows she needs to get off the busy dual carriageway fast,
for everyone's safety.
All of a sudden, she said that she started feeling sick,
and then Mummy said, "I'm going to have to pull over."
Claire manages to pull into a lay-by,
but doesn't get a chance to tell Lily and Eva
she's about to have an attack.
The last thing I really remember, pulling over at the side,
and the girls saying, "What's wrong, Mummy?"
And then it all started.
Claire blacks out in front of her terrified children.
Her face was all white, and her eyes were rolled upwards,
and she just looked like the sickest thing ever.
Lily realises it's down to her to get help.
As Mum has taught her, she grabs Claire's phone and dials 999.
This is that call...
It was difficult to try and figure out what to do,
as I was in a very bad panic.
Worried their mum may be dying,
the girls try to do what they can to help.
Lily told me to whack her chest.
So I literally whacked her chest.
Emergency call taker Stephanie needs to know the girls' exact location.
Police officers in the area are dispatched
to look for the girls in the car. One of them is Simon Quinn.
The East Lancs Road is a very busy road in the area
and knowing that children there are in distress, obviously,
it's quite an emotional call,
and you want to get there as soon as possible.
Suddenly, mum Claire comes to in a state of confusion.
Confused and disorientated, Claire starts moving away from the vehicle
and alongside the carriageway, where traffic is flying past at 50mph.
Frightened for her mum's safety, Lily wants to go after her.
As Claire staggers along the road,
traffic officer Simon and a colleague spot the family's car
with its hazards flashing.
When I approached, the children were gesturing and indicating
that the mother was further up the road.
She'd gone quite a distance from the vehicle.
Simon takes the phone from Lily.
His colleague grabs Claire just in time,
as she stumbles into the carriageway.
I was, like, "Oh, thank God for that."
Claire recalls little of what happened that night.
The next thing I really remember was sirens
and a policeman grabbing my arm.
They took me into the ambulance to ensure that I was OK and safe
and they'd taken the girls to my sister's.
My main concern, really, was the girls,
getting to them and making sure they weren't too scared
and they could see Mummy was all right.
Now she knows her medical condition has returned,
Claire is able to keep it under control
and she's very proud of her girls.
Lily dealt with the situation amazingly.
My mum, she taught me really well,
and she's probably the best mum anyone could wish for.
Both Lily and Eva were officially commended
by Greater Manchester Police for their actions and bravery.
I'm very lucky that it wasn't worse than it was.
I'm more lucky that I've got two amazing little girls
that not only love me,
but, you know, they want to protect me as well.
Coming up....a car ploughs into a bakery's shop front...
..narrowly missing shoppers inside.
But a customer on the way in isn't so lucky.
Back in the Cairngorm mountain range in Scotland, walkers Bob,
Cathy and their dog Meg
have been lost in a blizzard for nearly 24 hours.
They've spent the night huddled together in one survival bag.
As the sun rises, the couple are relieved to have made it through,
but the danger hasn't passed.
I said to Cathy, I said, "Come on,"
I said, "We've got to get going now."
I was hoping for clear conditions,
but unfortunately it was basically white out conditions up there.
It didn't matter which way you looked, everywhere was white.
By this time, we realised, when we went to look for the map,
that the map had gone.
So we had to basically rely on the compass.
As Cathy and Bob struggle on, a fresh Mountain Rescue team set out.
Hopes of finding the couple alive are fading,
so as well as the helicopter, there are now 50 searchers on foot.
This footage, filmed from a camera worn by one of the search team,
shows them battling through thick snow and over uneven, icy ground.
Cathy and Bob have now been out on Cairngorm Mountain
for over 24 hours.
For a time, we were up to our waist in the snow.
Just heading into this white oblivion.
It's, like, one step forward and two steps back.
Steve Broadhurst, one of the rescue team on the ground,
is climbing just below the summit
when he suddenly spots a shadowy figure in the distance.
So I went down to see who this person was.
Sure enough, it was, it was Robert.
We just didn't have a clue
that anybody was looking for us whatsoever.
We were really grateful to see them.
Following just a few metres behind Bob is a weakened Cathy.
We were very glad to see them!
Despite their ordeal, Bob appears to be in fairly good condition,
but Steve is immediately worried about Cathy.
She was showing signs of early hypothermia, as well as...
Combine that with the exhaustion, she was in a pretty bad way.
Cathy needs urgent care. This footage,
taken minutes after they were found, shows Bob and Cathy,
both covered in a fine layer of ice,
being given food and warm drinks,
but Cathy has no energy left.
Somebody in the team offered Cathy a sandwich
and she just physically wasn't able to eat the sandwich.
Alarm bells ring for the rescue team.
If someone gets really cold, it's good to give them some food
and drink and get them warmed up,
but if they can't swallow, that becomes more and more difficult.
Cathy urgently needs to be taken off the mountain.
Steve radios Willie back at control
and requests an all-terrain track vehicle.
He felt that the couple could not make their way off the mountain
without a lot of assistance.
One of the rescue teams liaises with Willie,
who's driving the rescue vehicle.
But the rescue vehicle can't quite reach them.
Bob and Cathy are going to have to walk the last 100 metres.
But it's too much for Cathy.
She's close to collapse,
and is helped down the slope by two of the team.
My whole leg, by that time, was aching, absolutely throbbing,
and all I wanted to do was get down.
They virtually carried me, I don't think I actually walked.
Eventually, Cathy makes it to the vehicle, with Bob close behind.
-Right foot up.
-Right foot up.
On you go.
Totally exhausted, she can't even lift her leg to get on board.
Just step on here, look.
Willie kneels down in the snow to form an additional step.
You weigh nothing. Right, OK.
So Cathy got in the front
with the driver. Me and Meg, we got in the back.
With Cathy deteriorating, time is critical.
We need to get them out of that environment as quickly
and as smoothly as possible.
-See you later.
It's just a kilometre drive to the nearby mountain restaurant
where Bob, Cathy and Meg are met by members of the local ski patrol,
and given more food and warm drinks,
as well as a physical checkup.
Slowly, Cathy begins to warm up, and an hour later,
they're taken back to the campsite.
When we got back to the caravan, we were reminiscing
of how lucky we were, how things could have been different.
-How could we have been so stupid?
Yes, we're very grateful to them.
If we'd have had any doubts at all that we couldn't complete that walk,
we wouldn't have done it.
The experience hasn't taken away their love of hill climbing...
We will be back to do more Scottish hills.
..but when planning their next walk, Cathy will be more cautious.
We'll have had to think more carefully about what the conditions
will be like further up.
Willie is in no doubt that Cathy and Bob had an extremely close call.
I'm not sure that they realised just how serious it was.
There's no question, if we had not found them,
they would not have survived another night.
Bob has taken this on board
and has words of advice for even the most experienced walker
setting out into the mountains.
All I can say is that, you know, make sure you go prepared
and don't underestimate the mountains in winter.
It just goes to show, it doesn't matter how experienced people are,
the weather can catch us all out.
It's all about proper planning.
But there are some things you can't plan for,
like popping out of the office for a quick sandwich
and almost walking straight into disaster.
Coleshill, near Birmingham.
Customers wait to be served. Another shopper approaches the door.
Suddenly, from nowhere, a car smashes into the shop front.
Shocked customers freeze for an instant, then head outside.
They find a man collapsed on the pavement.
One of my colleagues had run to the front, and was shouting,
"Phone the ambulance! They've hit him, they've hit him!"
Shop owner Jeanette James loves running her bakery
in the small market town of Coleshill.
She's dedicated 15 years to making it a success.
This shop means a lot to me.
It's like another one of my children, I think.
I must love it, for the hours I put here.
The shop is extremely popular with the locals.
You get to know them as friends
and you see their children grow up.
The bakery is also convenient for local businesspeople
wanting to grab a quick bite to eat.
One of Jeanette's regulars is Simon, who works nearby,
and lives just ten miles away with his wife and ten-year-old daughter.
We're a very close family. We go jogging together, play board games,
and the sort of things that, you know, families do.
Simon is based a couple of days a week in an office
opposite the bakery. He often pops in around lunchtime.
It's convenient and there's good food,
so I've eaten a fair few sandwiches from that shop.
It's a busy day midweek,
and in the bakery, Jeanette and her staff are just preparing
for the lunchtime rush.
It was an ordinary day.
We'd opened up early in the morning, everybody was working.
Across the street, Simon is in his office.
Feeling a bit peckish, he decides to grab some lunch from the bakery.
I walked out from the office to the sandwich shop,
passed a brand-new car, and I noticed, in the corner of my eye,
that there was somebody in the car that was looking at the manual.
At first, thinking nothing of it,
he carries on walking towards the sandwich shop,
but then his attention goes back to the car.
Behind me, I began to hear this sort of very loud revving.
Inside the bakery, CCTV footage shows customers
waiting to be served. Outside, on the left, Simon, in a dark suit,
can be seen, about to open the door.
Something distracts him.
I didn't have time to turn around.
I just instantly jumped.
From behind him, a car shoots forward,
slamming into the outside of the shop front.
There was the most almighty bang.
I actually thought it was, like, a bomb had gone off.
The car takes out the main window, ploughing into the shop,
sending shelving and display fridges flying.
Outside, Simon stumbles, then collapses to the ground.
The front of the shop was completely smashed in.
The whole front of a white car was inside the shop.
Customers and staff are left in shock, unsure what just happened.
Bewildered, they open the door and find Simon lying on the pavement.
One of my colleagues had run to the front and was shouting,
"Phone the ambulance! They've hit him! They've hit him!"
Jeanette emerges from behind the counter and heads outside.
Straight away, she recognises Simon.
He was lying on the pavement.
It looked to me like his legs were broken.
He was dazed. It was like he didn't know where he was or who he was.
He didn't know what was going on, I don't think.
Simon is conscious but confused.
I was on the floor. I think the next time I saw something
was probably someone approaching me. I believe it was a nurse.
More people come to his aid.
All the people at the sandwich shop were brilliant.
I mean, they were out instantly and Jeanette was one of those.
As they wait for the ambulance,
Jeanette grows increasingly concerned about Simon.
He wasn't moving.
Nobody wanted to move him or touch him, just in case.
Simon starts to respond just as the emergency services arrive.
While the ambulance crew check him over,
the Fire Service turn their attention to the bakery.
Because the car had hit the building,
they cordoned off the area.
We all had to evacuate, in case the building was unsafe.
As firemen examine the damage to the shop,
Simon is given the all clear by the medics.
To everyone's surprise, he's uninjured.
I went into the ambulance, had a check and carried on a normal day.
It was like he kind of shook his shoulders and thought,
-"Oh, well, it's all in a day..."
Relieved Simon isn't hurt,
Jeanette begins to worry about her beloved business.
It started to hit me then - my third child, as it is, had been injured.
My shop. And then I was told that it would have to be boarded up.
And if the building was unsafe,
I didn't know how long it would be shut for.
Simon knows he had a slice of good fortune that day.
Had I not reacted quickly, it would have crushed my legs.
And despite the damage to the bakery,
Jeanette's main concern was for Simon.
He's a very, very lucky man.
The driver of the car was later prosecuted for dangerous driving.
Luckily for Jeanette, the bakery was only shut for a day
while the building was made secure. And when she reopened,
Simon was one of the first customers back through the door.
The first time he came in after the incident,
I think we were all so pleased to know that he was OK.
But, yeah, he comes in most days.
Simon was really lucky.
That was too close for comfort.
Join me next time for some more Close Calls.