Episode 3 Close Calls: On Camera


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Episode 3

Nick Knowles presents close calls caught on film. Mountain rescue workers and an RAF helicopter come to the aid of a man hiking in the Cumbrian hills.


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Transcript


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A close call, a moment of danger when life can hang in the balance.

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I could die here. This is really serious.

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A split second where the outcome could go either way.

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Right, call 999 right now.

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The difference between disaster and survival.

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You could see it on the faces of the crew how life-threatening this was.

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Why would you need to swim? Apparently they're supposed to still be on a boat.

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These are the people that have been there and lived to tell the tale.

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I thought she had died.

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It's a day they'll never forget.

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The day they had a close call.

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Today on Close Calls...

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Mountain rescue workers struggle to treat an injured climber who has

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plunged 200ft down a rock face.

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Stay! Cut down!

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It's a balancing act.

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He's perched precariously on a small ledge.

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And now they need to make room for a helicopter winchman.

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Yeah, the structure's a bit loose.

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Also today... Two biking brothers on a day out,

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when one loses concentration.

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And paramedics treat a child in a local park.

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She has just been hit by this falling tree.

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Grasmoor Mountain in the Lake District.

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A mountain rescue team have just reached a badly injured climber

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who has fallen 200ft.

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They are trying to work on a narrow, rocky ledge on this cliff face.

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An RAF helicopter stands by waiting to airlift the casualty.

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Stay!

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He has a badly dislocated ankle.

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There is some vascular compromise.

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The rescue team's doctor wants to reset it,

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but the force needed could send him plunging down the drop.

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The rescue team brace him and the injured man's face contorts in agony.

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His screams drowned out by the helicopter.

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Painter and decorator Ryan lives in the small country town of Silloth in

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Cumbria. He has grown up with the Lake District as his backyard,

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and it has given him a real passion for the great outdoors.

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When you're out in the open, beautiful scenery around you,

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you can let your mind drift and

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really forget you're there.

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25-year-old Ryan spends a lot of his free time with his brother, Will,

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who is just three years older.

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They're pretty close.

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We always see each other maybe two or three times a week.

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We will have a laugh and get up to things.

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They met their friend, Joe,

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when Will was working with him at the local garden centre.

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They are very close brothers.

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Great fun, we have social nights, and great people to get along with.

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You know, really good friends.

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The brothers discovered Joe is a bit of a mountaineering expert who

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regularly heads to Everest base camp.

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I've been climbing for over 25 years.

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I've taken many new people that have never even ventured onto the

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mountains before for their first time.

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It's nice to see them come alive and enjoy it.

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Joe's passion inspires the two brothers.

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So we decided to all go up Everest and we were going to do a few months' worth

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of walking and then book the trip.

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It's a big step from the Lake District to the Himalayas,

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so Joe suggests they start by practising more locally.

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He recommends a day's climbing on nearby Grasmoor,

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the local peak of nearly 3,000ft.

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The plan that we chose was the easiest route where now and again you may

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need to put your hand on the rock, but no rope or protection is required.

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It's a sunny Sunday morning in June when the three friends meet at the

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bottom of the mountain. They are joined by another pal, Brian, and set off.

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There was a bit of an argument over who was going to carry

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the backpack, because of the extra weight.

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Because we had a couple of beers in to celebrate when we reached the top.

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The boys agree to share carrying the bag, and Will takes his turn first.

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'We took it in our stride, laughing and joking.'

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After an hour or so,

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the group reach a point where the grassland becomes solid rock.

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The lads are keen to come off the safer path to the top and try their hand at real climbing.

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'The faces, they weren't that hard to get over, really.'

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Maybe that much higher than my head.

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Not that high. So it was a bit climb, walk,

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a little bit of climbing and walking.

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Experienced climber Joe stays at the rear of the group.

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So I could observe they were doing the right things,

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they were having three points of contact,

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they were checking the rock before they put their weight on it.

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Near the summit, they arrive at the last set of rock faces.

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That's when it started getting a bit scary.

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Will, at that time,

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had had enough of the climbing and he wanted to get onto the path itself.

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So Joe suggests he stays with Will while the other two continue climbing.

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And I said, "Well, just make sure you have got three points of contact,

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"you check the rock."

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By now, Ryan is taking his turn carrying the backpack.

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Trying to prove a point I'm the better climber,

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I can carry this all the way up the top.

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So I did the climb over this last bit just over head height,

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final bit of the climb.

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And that's when things go disastrously wrong for Ryan.

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As soon as I committed my weight and pulled myself, my body weight up,

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the other rock sheared off.

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And with us having the backpack on, I was a bit top-heavy.

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I went backwards and ended up rolling.

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Unable to stop his momentum, Ryan starts plummeting down the mountainside.

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Went over the first drop.

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I landed flat on my back on a load of rocks.

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And without a backpack on, it would have actually broke my back.

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But the weight of the backpack continues to drag him backwards

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and down the treacherous rock face.

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He disappears out of sight of the others who have nearly reached the summit.

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All I heard first was a load of rocks tumbling.

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You knew something was wrong.

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And then all we could hear was screaming.

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The further down he was getting, the quieter the screams were.

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It just never seemed to end.

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Ryan continues tumbling over and over again.

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While I was rolling, I was scrabbling at the backpack.

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I could get the bag off and chuck the bag.

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But he just keeps on rolling.

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Then, after each drop, it seemed to daze us a little bit.

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Then, Ryan plunges into a narrow channel between two rock faces,

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giving him one last desperate chance to survive.

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As soon as I hit that gully, it seemed to funnel us.

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And I could get my legs out.

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But, like I was saying, I was going at that much of a speed,

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as soon as I hit the bottom, my ankle just went snap.

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After that, I seemed to go into shock.

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Ryan lands on this narrow ledge 200ft down.

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Below is another sheer 60ft drop onto sharp, jagged rocks.

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And after that, a terrifying plunge to the bottom of the mountain another

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500ft below.

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For his brother and friends far above, there is just a terrible silence.

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We were shouting his name, shouting his name, and nothing came back.

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At that point, I thought the worst.

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I thought he was dead. I thought he was gone.

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Ryan lies seriously injured, clinging to the narrow ledge

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as mountain rescue volunteers try to reach him.

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An RAF helicopter is called in,

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but the location makes an extraction precarious.

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Stay. Cut down!

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Two brothers in real trouble there after taking up a new and

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adventurous hobby.

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Now, a story about another pair of brothers whose idea of adventure is

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on two wheels rather than two legs.

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They're close, but they got a little too close for comfort.

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The A32 near Alton, Hampshire.

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Two motorbike-mad brothers are enjoying a day out with fellow enthusiasts.

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They are in convoy and approaching a junction.

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A car in front stops to make a right turn.

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The bikers brake.

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But one is distracted.

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He sees the danger too late.

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He and his pillion passenger plough straight into the back of his

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brother's bike at 30mph.

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Don't move, don't move, don't move.

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Brothers Kyle and Aaron live near Fareham on the south coast.

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They have got a lot in common.

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They both work as couriers and they are both musicians.

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Kyle is the oldest by three years.

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The brothers have a good relationship,

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although with a bit of sibling rivalry.

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We're definitely close. Especially because we have been playing music

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together a long time as well. Aaron plays guitar.

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He's a good friend and a good drummer.

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But he's always late for everything.

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The pair's greatest shared passion is for biking.

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They got the bug at the same time and regularly ride out together with

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a group of friends.

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There is nothing that quite feels like riding a bike.

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It's very freeing.

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In all the years the brothers have been riding,

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neither has had a serious accident.

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It's the freedom versus the risks.

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I mean, you always know the risks going into it.

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It's a bright winter's morning and the boys have hit the road with a

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bunch of mates.

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The idea was go out for a group ride, and we did.

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There was four or five of us, everyone was in good spirits.

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We were all excited.

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Midway through the day,

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they stop for refreshment at a cafe welcoming bikers.

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Older brother Kyle often videos their rides.

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Today, he has a camera fixed to the handlebars of his bike facing towards him.

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The second camera is fixed to his brother Aaron's chest and is facing forward.

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I am a YouTuber, so the footage goes on my channel.

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But in the event that, for example, someone hits me,

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I have the cameras there for insurance protection.

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After their break, the brothers and their pals set off again.

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There are five bikes altogether.

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Aaron, on the red bike, is third in line.

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Kyle, dressed in blue, is at the back.

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A friend, Amy, is riding pillion.

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We were on the A32 northbound towards Alton.

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We were sort of staggered as we usually do.

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It was just follow whoever's in front.

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Further along the road is a junction.

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There was a car that was slowing down to turn right.

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We all thought, "Oh, got to slow down quick."

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So we slowed down pretty quickly.

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Kyle is quite a way back from the rest of the group.

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He begins to brake more gently than the others.

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The other four bikes come to a complete halt.

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But Kyle doesn't notice.

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He has become distracted by a passing motorcyclist

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on the other side of the road.

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It's a sort of a customary thing to nod another biker.

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So I nodded the biker and watched him in my wing mirror for a second.

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And as I looked back up and everything went very downhill very quickly.

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Kyle smashes straight into the back of Aaron's bike.

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Kyle is thrown from his motorbike as his brother's flies forward,

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knocking down two other bikers.

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The impact was very forceful.

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The force knocked my head straight into Aaron's back.

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At the same time, I had my foot crushed between my foot peg and his

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exhaust, and my left hand essentially punched the back of his bike.

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I don't know how I stayed on that bike.

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It was like a bucking bronco thing.

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I actually just passed out and I just remember feeling sliding along

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the ground and this horrible grinding noise.

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My bike went into the other bike.

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My leg got caught between the two bikes, and that is what hurt.

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Kyle's pillion rider thrown from the bike somehow escapes unharmed.

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But Kyle and Aaron lie on the cold tarmac ten yards apart.

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Aaron's footage shows their friends and other concerned drivers gathering around.

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Are you all right?

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-Who was that?

-Don't move, don't move, don't move.

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Are you OK, mate?

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The people standing around me were pretty worried, saying stuff like,

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"Don't move. Keep your neck straight."

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-Who went into me?

-Somebody did.

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-Was it Kyle?

-Don't worry, don't worry.

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-Was it Kyle?

-It doesn't matter.

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They were pretty reluctant to tell me that Kyle went into me.

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I think it was a sense of like they didn't want me to worry.

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Both brothers are in shock, but their concern is for each other.

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When I first looked over at Aaron, surrounded by people,

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I was trying to work out whether or not he was moving.

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And then I heard him talk, so I was massively relieved.

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In fact, it's Kyle, who was responsible for the accident,

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who appears to have come off the worst.

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The paramedics arrived, and at that moment Amy said, "Oh, my God,

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"your foot. Oh, my God."

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As far as I was told,

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it looked like something out of, like, a horror movie prop.

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Before I knew it, I was bundled into an ambulance with copious amounts of

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morphine. And, yeah, it was all a bit hazy, obviously.

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Aaron is also taken to hospital,

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where doctors discover he has a small knee fracture.

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But it is Kyle who has to undergo extensive surgery on his foot.

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I would have definitely been a lot more upset about the whole situation

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if the biggest injuries weren't my own.

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Especially if it was Aaron in my shoes instead.

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Luckily for me, that wasn't the way it was and I've made my bed

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and am now lying in it.

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Kyle still suffers pain in his foot,

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but he's still drumming and hopes to be back on a bike soon when he can

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replace his old one.

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Aaron has already got a newer model,

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paid for by the pay-out from Kyle's insurance.

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And he has now got the upper hand where his older brother is concerned.

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Yeah, if we ever argue about something, "Well, you drove into me."

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KYLE LAUGHS

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Kyle's promised 100% concentration from now on.

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The whole incident has definitely woken me up to road safety.

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The fact that I got away so lightly,

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and that everyone else got away more lightly than I did, is

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very lucky, to be honest.

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It could have been a lot worse.

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A huge tree has fallen in a local park. Four children were

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playing beneath it.

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At first I thought it was a gunshot.

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It sounded like a car's tyre popping or something.

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And then the girls screamed.

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But first, back to Grasmoor Mountain in the Lake District.

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25-year-old Ryan has suffered an horrific fall.

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He has plunged 200ft down a steep rock face

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and landed on a small ledge.

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Below him is another sheer drop

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onto jagged rock.

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When I slid down the gully, I got my feet out, I hit the bottom,

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and that's when my ankle gave way.

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Near the mountain summit, Ryan's frantic brother, Will, and friend, Joe,

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have no idea if he has survived.

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After about a minute of shouting his name, he shouted.

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And that calmed me down a lot, you know. Loads.

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We said, "Are you OK?"

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And he said, "Yes, I'm fine."

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But I needed to see whether he was fine or not,

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because he must've been injured in some way.

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Ryan IS injured.

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His head is battered and bleeding,

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and he has excruciating pain in his ankle.

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He struggles to take his boot off.

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I can't remember taking it off.

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Then after that, I looked at it, and I don't know why,

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I got my phone out and took a picture.

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This is that picture.

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Ryan's foot has been wrenched to the side and is twisted at a 45-degree

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angle to the rest of his leg.

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His friends are desperate to know how he is.

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Experienced climber Joe scrambles back down the mountain until he catches

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sight of Ryan way below him on the ledge.

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He had fallen at least 200ft.

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Joe kept saying, "I can't believe where he's landed."

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We couldn't physically get to him,

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but I knew that he could have had a head trauma.

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Joe calls Mountain Rescue.

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The on-call volunteers rush to their base at nearby Cockermouth.

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By chance, deputy team leader Martin Pickavance is out fell-running

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nearby with a friend when his radio goes off.

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I happened to be within a five-minute run of that spot,

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and we spent probably five minutes just looking around the crag trying to find the casualty.

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When they do, Martin and his friend, both experienced climbers,

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head up to the ledge where Ryan is lying.

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At that point, I felt a lot safer when I saw them come over the top.

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Very relieved to see that Ryan is conscious and he's talking to me.

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His ankle was obviously quite badly broken,

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but he could have had a back or spine injury.

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Martin knows he needs to get Ryan off the mountain quickly,

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and there is only one way to do that.

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He calls in an RAF helicopter.

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Not long before it reaches them,

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the rest of the Mountain Rescue team arrive.

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And a group make their way up to the ledge.

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Veteran team leader Mike Park films with a head cam as he helps coordinate

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the operation.

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It really is just a case of checking up that we have got everything covered.

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And one of his first concerns is to find Ryan's friends.

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These guys were above Ryan,

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so the last thing we really wanted to do was have them knocking down rock

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or other material down onto Ryan and the team members.

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One of the rescuers is a doctor.

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He dresses Ryan's head wound and gives him oxygen.

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But it is Ryan's ankle injury that is causing real concern.

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It is badly dislocated.

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Because of the nature of the injury,

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you might have a limited blood flow to his foot.

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We were concerned he could potentially lose his foot.

0:19:100:19:12

The helicopter has arrived,

0:19:140:19:16

but there is very little space on the narrow ledge.

0:19:160:19:20

The doctor decides to try and reset Ryan's ankle before calling the

0:19:200:19:24

winchman down.

0:19:240:19:26

He needs to pull hard on Ryan's foot, and in such a confined space,

0:19:260:19:31

it's a dangerous operation.

0:19:310:19:33

Two members of the team brace the medic from behind to stop him plunging

0:19:330:19:37

down the cliff face.

0:19:370:19:39

Martin supports Ryan's leg at the knee.

0:19:390:19:42

We gave Ryan some very strong painkillers.

0:19:420:19:44

Between myself and one of the team doctors, Joe,

0:19:440:19:47

I pulled in one direction, and Joe pulled in the other direction.

0:19:470:19:50

The camera captures Ryan's reaction.

0:19:510:19:53

Probably the most pain I have felt.

0:19:570:19:58

I could feel the bones crunching,

0:19:580:20:01

grinding as they were going over the top of each other.

0:20:010:20:04

I have never felt agony like it.

0:20:040:20:06

The manoeuvre is successful, and Ryan's ankle can now be put in a splint.

0:20:070:20:11

With the main injury treated,

0:20:140:20:15

the helicopter lowers a winchman down to the ledge.

0:20:150:20:18

A stretcher has been brought up the mountain and is waiting at the bottom

0:20:200:20:23

of the cliff below.

0:20:230:20:25

A fractured dislocation of his ankle...

0:20:250:20:27

The team send a rope down to haul it up...

0:20:270:20:30

Rope below!

0:20:300:20:31

..then organise a second rope to be lowered from other team members above.

0:20:310:20:35

What we need is a rope to secure the stretcher while we load him on

0:20:350:20:37

the stretcher, please.

0:20:370:20:39

Yeah, the stretcher is with us.

0:20:390:20:41

The helicopter stands off while Ryan is placed on the stretcher.

0:20:430:20:47

We're just getting in the stretcher now, OK?

0:20:470:20:50

It's a hazardous operation.

0:20:500:20:52

-OK, Ryan?

-Yeah.

-Good lad.

0:20:520:20:54

Got the head guard down over you here, OK?

0:20:550:20:57

Once Ryan is secure, the winchman calls the helicopter back.

0:20:570:21:01

I'm going to get them to lower a high line to me.

0:21:010:21:03

Just get you to use the line, it's to stop you spinning.

0:21:030:21:05

Finally, Ryan and the winchman are lifted off the mountain.

0:21:060:21:10

The only thing I can really remember is how much of a weird sensation it

0:21:140:21:18

was getting lifted into the air and swinging out underneath the helicopter.

0:21:180:21:24

His brother, Will, and his friends watch from the mountain as the

0:21:240:21:26

helicopter leaves, heading for Carlisle Hospital.

0:21:260:21:30

I felt a lot worse then than what I did when, you know,

0:21:300:21:35

when he actually fell.

0:21:350:21:38

Maybe because we don't know actually how bad he was.

0:21:380:21:42

Ryan is examined at the hospital and miraculously has no serious neck or

0:21:460:21:51

head injuries. But his ankle is shattered.

0:21:510:21:54

It takes surgeons five and a half hours to piece it back together.

0:21:540:21:57

Ryan is now back on his feet, but it has been a long recovery,

0:21:590:22:03

and he faces further treatment to his ankle.

0:22:030:22:06

The way I like to look at it is it could have been a lot worse.

0:22:060:22:10

Other people have got worse injuries and had to live with worse,

0:22:100:22:13

so why should I look on myself with sympathy?

0:22:130:22:17

He shouldn't be here. Even the doctors when we got to the hospital were

0:22:190:22:22

saying he had an angel on his shoulder.

0:22:220:22:24

If he hadn't have landed on that ledge,

0:22:250:22:28

then Ryan certainly wouldn't have been here today.

0:22:280:22:30

I should have died on that fall.

0:22:300:22:32

But a lucky chance saved us.

0:22:320:22:35

Blackburn, Lancashire.

0:22:480:22:50

A 12-year-old girl sits on the ground of a local park.

0:22:500:22:53

She is in shock and being urgently treated by paramedics who fear she

0:22:530:22:57

may have head and neck injuries.

0:22:570:22:59

She's been hit by this 60-tonne, 40-foot-high tree as it fell.

0:23:010:23:06

The young girl has cuts and bruises to her face and legs.

0:23:070:23:11

The paramedics fit a neck collar,

0:23:110:23:13

lie her down and slide her onto a stretcher.

0:23:130:23:16

She was fishing with her best friend when the tree collapsed,

0:23:170:23:20

injuring them both.

0:23:200:23:22

It was so scary.

0:23:220:23:23

I turned around and I just froze. I couldn't move.

0:23:230:23:25

Two young boys fishing with them managed to get out of the way just in time.

0:23:250:23:30

Turned and the tree fell on top of the girls.

0:23:300:23:33

I looked at Kieran and I thought we would just see someone die.

0:23:330:23:36

What are you getting for Dave at school?

0:23:440:23:47

THEY LAUGH

0:23:470:23:48

Maisie and Allie have been best friends since they were three years old.

0:23:480:23:52

Now 12, the girls are closer than ever, quite literally.

0:23:540:23:57

They live next door to one another.

0:23:590:24:00

We see each other, like, every night.

0:24:020:24:03

We go, like, shopping together and we go places together.

0:24:030:24:06

We are really silly and giddy together.

0:24:060:24:08

I think that is what makes me happy.

0:24:080:24:10

Maisie's antics make Allie smile.

0:24:100:24:13

She's just really funny and, like, when she walks into a room, she just,

0:24:130:24:16

like... I just laugh straightaway, no matter what she does.

0:24:160:24:19

Proper funny.

0:24:190:24:20

The girls enjoy playing outdoors, and one warm summer's day in July,

0:24:210:24:25

they set off to the local park to try and catch fish in the river.

0:24:250:24:29

We were just, like, messing around.

0:24:290:24:30

We kept catching loads of fish.

0:24:300:24:32

We were really giddy and happy.

0:24:320:24:34

Also at the park that day are local lads Kieran and Kyle.

0:24:350:24:38

It was a hot day and because it was hot,

0:24:390:24:41

we decided we'd go to the river and we organised it.

0:24:410:24:46

We were there and we saw those girls.

0:24:460:24:48

They were just, like, chilling in the river.

0:24:480:24:50

One of them was off catching fish in a plastic bottle with a fish in it.

0:24:500:24:54

The boys ask the girls if they can borrow the fishing net.

0:24:540:24:58

Then we just started fishing together with the boys.

0:24:580:25:01

Yeah, we just had a good time together.

0:25:010:25:03

But their fun is dramatically cut short when they hear a terrifying sound.

0:25:040:25:09

At first, I thought it was a gunshot.

0:25:110:25:13

It sounded like a car's tyre popping or something.

0:25:130:25:16

And then the girls screamed.

0:25:160:25:18

The noise is an enormous tree cracking and beginning to topple over.

0:25:190:25:24

It's heading straight for them.

0:25:240:25:26

It was coming so quick, it was so scary.

0:25:270:25:30

I turned around and I just froze, I couldn't move.

0:25:300:25:32

As the huge 40-foot, 60-tonne tree crashes down on them,

0:25:320:25:37

the boys just jump clear.

0:25:370:25:39

But the girls aren't quick enough.

0:25:410:25:43

I turned and the tree fell on top of the girls,

0:25:440:25:46

and I looked at Kieran and I thought we would just see someone die.

0:25:460:25:50

Maisie and Allie have vanished.

0:25:510:25:53

All the boys can see is this massive tree trunk now in the river where the girls were standing.

0:25:530:25:59

When the tree fell, it hit my head.

0:25:590:26:02

I felt loads of weight on me and I just sunk into the water.

0:26:020:26:05

Kyle is horrified.

0:26:070:26:09

After the tree fell, there was just silence and I thought they were dead.

0:26:090:26:12

But the silence is suddenly broken by the girls' terrified screams.

0:26:140:26:18

You couldn't see them because they were covered in leaves and twigs and

0:26:200:26:23

stuff and they were just screaming.

0:26:230:26:25

Maisie and Allie are still in the river and trapped under the tree.

0:26:250:26:29

Its bulk is creating a dam, and the water is rising rapidly.

0:26:290:26:33

The water was scaring me more than the tree and, like, my neck,

0:26:330:26:36

because it was rising so quickly and I was so scared.

0:26:360:26:40

When I got from under the water, I could just see leaves everywhere.

0:26:400:26:43

Like all the leaves that had fell off the tree.

0:26:430:26:45

Unable to move the huge tree, the boys call for help.

0:26:450:26:49

Their cries are heard by a group of joggers.

0:26:490:26:51

They all ran over. It was like a stampede of joggers.

0:26:520:26:57

One runner calls the emergency services whilst the others

0:26:570:26:59

pull Allie and Maisie from under the tree.

0:26:590:27:03

They, like, carried us out on their shoulders and then they sat us down,

0:27:030:27:07

gave us their jackets to warm up.

0:27:070:27:09

An ambulance crew arrive and are concerned Maisie and Allie may have neck injuries.

0:27:090:27:13

These photos taken at the scene show paramedics treating Maisie minutes

0:27:150:27:20

after she was rescued from the river.

0:27:200:27:21

I couldn't really see properly.

0:27:230:27:24

It was just really scary.

0:27:240:27:26

I burst into tears and my bottom lip went.

0:27:260:27:28

Allie is also checked over.

0:27:280:27:31

They wouldn't let me move whatsoever.

0:27:310:27:32

The girls are rushed to the Royal Blackburn Hospital,

0:27:330:27:36

but have escaped with minor muscle damage plus cuts and bruises.

0:27:360:27:40

Their new friends Kieran and Kyle know what a close call they had.

0:27:420:27:47

The girls are really lucky to be alive,

0:27:470:27:49

because it was a massive tree and they honestly could have died.

0:27:490:27:53

We were happy with what we did and relieved that the girls weren't harmed.

0:27:530:27:58

And Maisie and Allie are grateful to their young rescuers.

0:27:580:28:02

They helped us so much, really. I was so thankful.

0:28:020:28:05

Really lucky, because if the boys didn't get involved,

0:28:050:28:07

I think we all would have panicked, and when we shouted,

0:28:070:28:10

I don't think we'd have been as loud as the boys.

0:28:100:28:12

Big thanks to everybody who helped the girls out after that freak accident.

0:28:210:28:25

That is all from Close Calls. See you next time.

0:28:250:28:28

A young man hiking in the Cumbrian hills falls 200ft, and mountain rescue workers and an RAF helicopter come to his rescue.

Two motorbiking brothers collide, and four children playing in a park are at risk when a huge tree falls.