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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...
A distraught mum begs the emergency services for help.
She is close to losing it...
..and close to losing her seven-year-old daughter.
When we got upstairs, Violet was dead.
Also today, a microlight pilot realises something is wrong
with his engine.
It stopped absolutely dead.
I knew it was something serious.
He is unsure where to land and his options are running out.
He is also in danger of being electrocuted.
The impact was going to be a problem,
but running into power lines would have been a bigger one.
And a holiday hire car goes up in smoke.
The fire was literally inside the car and it was going up very, very fast.
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
A terrified mother makes a 999 call.
But her seven-year-old daughter isn't choking,
she is actually in cardiac arrest.
Her parents must try to keep her alive until help arrives.
Dance-mad Violet lives with her mum, dad and sister.
They're a close family and enjoy spending time together.
Violet's big sister, six years her senior, is teenager Olivia.
She is also Violet's best friend.
Violet is a really bubbly sister.
She never shuts up, ever!
We're really close. We talk about anything with each other.
As well as hanging out with her sister, Violet loves being active.
I do netball, piano and music lessons.
But her number one passion is dancing.
I do ballroom and Latin dancing.
And I've entered competitions
and I've won quote a few plaques and trophies.
It is a Saturday night in February.
Violet and Olivia are upstairs.
Their parents, Jane and Tony, are watching television in the lounge.
Totally normal night.
Olivia had a friend sleeping.
The girls had been upstairs playing, messing about, laughing.
My sister had her friend over and we were just like, having fun.
It is 11pm and way past Violet's bedtime.
Mum Jane puts the reluctant seven-year-old to bed
then goes back downstairs.
But a few minutes later, she hears Violet coughing.
I went up to check on her, thinking that she was messing about
because she obviously wanted to get in back with the girls.
The moment Jane enters her daughter's bedroom affects
the family's lives forever.
She was sitting up in bed.
She was about to fall forward with no breath whatsoever.
I could just tell the breath wasn't going to kick back in.
It's the most awful thing you could ever imagine.
Jane screams for her husband.
I started CPR, but her mouth had even like locked.
My husband then came upstairs,
he took over me from CPR while I could ring 999.
This is that distressing emergency call...
The call handler is John Cameron.
The lady on the phone was clearly
and understandably very worried about her daughter choking.
The first priority was to get the address and the telephone number
from her because without that, you know,
we're not going to be able to help.
John gets the address and dispatches a rapid response team of paramedics
as well as an ambulance.
Now he needs more information.
But Jane is frantic with worry.
Jane is in shock and beginning to lose control.
John needs Jane to keep it together.
He tries giving her instructions on what to do.
My priority was to try and get instructions passed to them
as quick as possible. It was difficult because, as I said,
the caller was very distressed.
Jane is too distraught to follow what John is saying.
Husband Tony takes over.
Violet's heart has completely stopped working.
Oxygen is no longer getting to her brain.
Her terrified parents must start her heart quickly or she will die.
Tony does his best to follow John's instructions.
It is the only way to save little Violet.
If the patient was just left lying on the floor unconscious and not
breathing while the ambulance was en route, then the patient's condition
would deteriorate very quickly, with possible fatal consequences.
Violet's life is hanging in the balance.
She needs expert medical help now.
The call is still recording as the paramedics arrive.
Jane frantically directs them to her daughter.
Ryan Nelson is one of a two-man crew.
You don't tend to forget a parent's screams
or a parent's cries for help when it's a child.
When we got upstairs, Violet was dead.
She was blue, she was lifeless,
so from this point we took over.
Ryan and fellow paramedic Lee need to act fast
if there is any chance of bringing the young child back.
They check her windpipe. It's clear.
You look for something and you can't find something.
You're dealing with a mystery.
I was screaming at her to come round and come round and she just wasn't.
Ryan starts CPR.
It doesn't get much worse than that for a family,
to be performing CPR on their young child,
and it had reached that point.
Honestly, I looked at her and I thought,
"She's not going to survive this."
I thought she had died.
Technically, she's right.
Ryan realises the little girl has, in fact, had a cardiac arrest.
He needs to try and restart her heart using a defibrillator.
We charged the defibrillator
and stood clear and gave her that shock.
Once the shock was delivered we continued with our CPR.
It works. Violet's heart starts beating again.
The little girl suddenly comes back to life.
She literally sat up and I thought, "God, she's alive."
It's the most amazing moment for Mum and Dad.
She had come back to us.
It was just literally life-changing in seconds.
But Violet needs urgent specialist medical care.
An ambulance rushes her to James Paget University Hospital.
A cardiac arrest team is waiting.
They got her on the bed and they were calling her name,
asking her what school she went to.
They had never ever seen a child so young at that hospital
in sudden cardiac arrest. They'd never seen it.
The specialist team need to work out why it's happened.
She was obviously all on a monitor and everything,
but obviously she was so distraught what had happened to her.
Violet is transferred to the specialist children's hospital at
Great Ormond Street,
where the paediatric cardiology team
solve the life-threatening mystery.
Violet is diagnosed with a very rare heart condition
called Long QT syndrome.
Violet's heart is perfectly fit and healthy,
but, basically, she had gone to sleep,
and the easiest way to explain it is, her heart rhythm hadn't kicked back in.
Sometimes, with Long QT, you find that you've fainted or passed out,
but Violet hadn't shown any symptom
To stop Violet suffering another attack,
medics rush her into surgery and insert a special electrical device.
What it does is, basically, it sits just here under her muscle,
and the wires are connected to the heart.
If her heart ever went into that rhythm again,
it would shock her back.
The same as an external defib.
This tiny piece of medical technology
has given Violet her life back.
She's still dancing, and has even competed at her dream venue.
I qualified to go to the Blackpool Tower,
and that was really fun, yeah.
We were looking at her just thinking, "Oh, can you believe
"that she's done so well? Who would know here what she's been through?"
Following her recovery,
Violet visited Ryan and the rest of the ambulance team
who helped save her life.
Violet's doing amazing.
She's got quite a lively family, which is nice,
and they've not let it hold her back.
She's a good inspiration to anybody who's gone through this.
She's definitely making the most of being with us.
That was really special. We just sat down and spoke to them,
and they made me laugh and things.
When I'm older, they'd take me to prom in an ambulance, if I wanted.
How I look at it is, it was not her time to go and there was definitely
someone looking down on her that night.
Coming up, two friends on holiday in Cyprus make a quick getaway
as their hire car goes up in flames.
We knew there was a full tank of petrol. We didn't know what
to expect, whether there was going to be a big explosion.
The Norfolk coast, near Cromer.
A microlight pilot has total engine failure at 4,000 feet.
I was startled, and suddenly I'd lost it.
He's got little more than a minute to find a safe landing site,
but there's a problem.
There was a power line running across the field.
It was a 3,300 volt cable.
Engineer Kevin and his wife Lynne
live in the village of North Newbald in East Riding, Yorkshire.
They have two grown-up sons.
We've been married 30 odd years, 37 years or so.
Chris is 32, Elliott's 22.
Lynn and Chris help manage the family-run engineering firm,
which Kevin set up in 1993.
We specialise in mezzanine floors.
We do a lot of the retail sector,
so we'll put a second floor in a building and double the space.
Now, I mean, I've semi-retired, and the people running the business
do a much better job of it than I ever did.
Lynne's everything. She really is the star of it.
The firm has a real family feel.
Employee Mike has been with them for 15 years.
Kevin is one of a kind. He knows exactly what he wants to do,
and he has his own way of getting there.
He's a bit like a father figure to me.
He's a good guy.
Their floors take their clients up a level.
But Kevin's hobby takes him even higher.
Flying is a special pleasure.
Not a thrill in the thrill-seeking way but, actually,
a very privilege to look down on lines of cars on roads,
and there you are above them all.
You can go to the back of a cloud. You can look at your own reflection
in that cloud. You can see a rainbow from above.
You can watch England roll underneath you.
Kevin's aircraft of choice is a microlight.
And it doesn't just fulfil his passion for flight,
it gives him the opportunity to indulge his engineering skills, too.
He's fitted his own engine to the machine,
and enjoys trying to improve its performance.
I would say he's a little bit obsessed, yes.
He's always tinkering with his machines and designing bits of
new kit and things.
I've tinkered with engines since I was 11. Built go-karts and things.
But a microlight is something completely different.
It's something that actually flies.
It's a dream. And for a working-class lad,
to be able to do it is, I think, incredible.
Because the things are affordable.
But wife Lynne isn't as keen on the microlight as Kevin.
Lynne tolerates the hobby.
She decided to go up with me one day to see what it was all about.
So, when I took her up she thought, "Well, this is OK, it's very slow."
And she spent a lot of time looking over the side and saying,
"Look at that house with a swimming pool, look at that house
"with a swimming pool!" So, of course, I put her down very quickly
and said, "Oh, yes...", you know.
I didn't want to finish up paying for a swimming pool.
Kevin's been flying Microlights for 20 years.
Apart from a scrape with a tree in the early days,
he's stayed safe.
They aren't, in themselves, inherently dangerous.
It's how you operate them.
It's a sunny weekday in April,
and Kevin's freed up some flying time.
He decides to head down to an airfield 129 miles away,
near Cromer in Norfolk, to see a friend who works there.
It was a beautiful day. No wind.
The journey would take probably 2.5 hours.
Kevin regularly records his flights
with a camera fixed to the top of the plane.
It's recording as he takes off and begins the climb.
I decided to fly high. On a warm day, it can get a bit bouncy,
so the higher you go, the smoother, it is.
I was above light, broken cloud. It was absolutely perfect.
He climbs to 6,000 feet,
travelling at 60 miles an hour for most of the journey.
Just looking down at the views of Lincolnshire,
and the shape of the coast, feeling all's right with the world.
3.9 miles from my destination, and I can taste that tea already.
He starts his descent, dropping down to 4,000 feet.
But moments later, he realises something is wrong with the engine.
It stopped absolutely dead. I was startled.
It had been so reliable in the past, and suddenly I'd lost it.
I knew it was something serious. I looked back, there was no stream
of oil or smoke coming out so, I was in no immediate danger
because it glides safely, or she wouldn't catch me anywhere near it.
But although the small aircraft is able to glide,
it can't maintain height without the engine.
Whether he likes it or not, Kevin is going down.
He starts to look for a suitable landing site.
There were plenty of fields, all available to land on.
He considers his options.
The engine stopped a few times while I've been developing it.
I was so complacent that I was actually looking for a field with an
entrance next to it, so I could conveniently package
the thing into a van and take it home.
Feeling confident he can deal with the situation,
he rules out one field near a farmhouse,
then another that's near a road because the shrubs either side are
too tall. Another field has too many crops,
and yet another looks too rough.
I had rejected all the best places to land.
But his options are running out.
The on-board camera shows how low he is.
He needs to make a decision - quickly.
He spots some grassland just out of camera shot to his left,
but he's made a terrible error.
I was preparing to land rather slowly.
But there's something in the way.
There's a 3,300 volt cable.
Just off to his left, he can see the pylons.
If he hits them, he'll be electrocuted.
The impact was going to be a problem.
But running into power lines would be a bigger one.
He smashes into the ground at 60 miles an hour.
The camera picks up the power lines seconds before the crash.
He just misses them, coming down in soft, boggy mud.
The aircraft stops dead,
flipping upside down.
I don't remember the impact at all.
Kevin's body harness stops him being thrown from the microlight,
but he's left hanging upside down.
Opening my eyes after the crash,
I was winded, but I can remember standing up from the machine.
The sense of relief as you climb out of something like that is enormous.
Obviously, you check yourself up and down, and I couldn't believe
that there was not a mark. After looking back at the machine,
that I'd got away with it without a scratch.
The microlight is smashed and mangled.
I'd fared far better off than the machine.
The foot rest was bent forward by my feet bracing against it.
I'd also bent various tubes with my arms.
I'm not that strong but, by gum, you find some strength to hold yourself
back. You know, I count myself very, very lucky, indeed.
And, as luck would have it,
Mike from the office happens to be at a business meeting
nearby in Great Yarmouth.
A quick call and he comes to the boss's rescue.
I was expecting possibly broken arm, maybe a bit of internal bleeding,
that kind of thing. But he seemed pretty good shape,
considering what had just happened.
The pair drive home,
and the next day Kevin goes back to collect the wreckage of his plane.
It was a big disappointment to see the machine destroyed.
But I'd achieved an awful lot with it.
And when he reviews the footage,
he realises just how much danger he was in.
I'm probably 50 to 100 feet above the trees.
That bush was bigger than I expected.
As I came in to land, that's when you see the power lines.
Oops, I need to put it down firmly.
The fortunate thing is the trike rolled forward,
so, in other words, the energy went into tipping the trike over,
rather than a dead stop, which would have been fatal.
Kevin briefly considered giving up flying,
but decided he would miss it.
I wasn't ready to pack it in just yet.
I didn't want to end it on a failure,
I wanted to end it as a success.
He's now fixed the engine and bought a new microlight body.
But he's a lot more cautious.
I'm extremely lucky not to suffer the consequences that I could have
suffered from my bad choices.
That really was a close call in that,
having made all those mistakes, I still got away with it.
And that's a sharp lesson learned.
You're never too old to learn. Never too old to learn.
We often feature incidents where someone's had a near miss
on holiday. They probably happen because that's when
we all feel most relaxed. But it pays to keep our wits about us,
and know how to get help in an emergency abroad.
The beautiful island of Cyprus,
a favourite hot spot for Brits chasing the sun.
On a mountain roadside,
a car billows black smoke
as flames begin to envelop the front-end.
It's a hire car leased by two British tourists,
and their dream holiday is quickly turning to ashes.
It happened extremely quickly.
The fire was literally inside the car.
It was going up very, very fast.
Health and safety expert Richard Mason, from Accrington,
is managing director of his own company and works very long hours.
Running my own business, I don't have a great deal of spare time.
I do have a basset hound dog, who takes quite a bit of time,
even in his old age, walking him or playing with him or just cleaning up
But when Richard does manage to take a break, he loves going with friends
to their favourite Mediterranean island.
We'd chosen a villa in the mountains.
Going away on holiday is the only time we get to, sort of, de-stress.
We can stop thinking about the business for a couple of weeks.
Looking forward to two weeks with nothing to do but relax,
Richard and a pal fly into Cyprus quite late at night.
Richard has booked a hire car online,
which they go straight to collect after picking up their luggage.
But they're shocked by the state of the car.
It wasn't the car that we'd booked,
and the car was quite old, had a lot of bangs to it.
There was tape around the mirror, it hadn't been cleaned,
and so I decided that we weren't going to take that car
and we insisted on another car.
So, it was about 10:30pm at night when they offered us another car.
It looked slightly older
than the first car, but it was in better condition.
Tired and wanting to get their villa,
Richard accepts the second car and they set off.
We then drove to our villa in a village called Lysos.
It's at the foot of the Troodos Mountains,
so it's quite an elevated position.
In their rundown hire car, they take it slowly.
It's quite a steep hill, quite mountainous roads.
And so it did struggle, as any old car would.
They arrive at their villa late and tired.
But next day, it's a gorgeous morning,
and Richard and his friend drive to the town of Paphos, 40 minutes away,
to shop for food and drink for their two-week stay.
Loaded up, they set off back to their villa.
On the journey back to Lysos, the car did stall a couple of times.
The plan was to get back to the villa
and then call the rental company, and just tell them
that we're having problems with the car and, hopefully,
we thought they'd come and replace the car at the villa.
But they're beginning to fear they won't even make it back.
As we were making our way up to the village,
the car was really struggling on the hills,
struggling much more than it did the previous night.
They decide to look for a place to stop and check the car out.
It was then we saw the white smoke.
At this stage, I still thought it was just overheating or some kind
of mechanical fault.
But as they pull over,
they begin to realise it's much more serious than that.
White smoke turned into flames,
and we could see flames from the windscreen.
The car was clearly on fire.
They both scramble out of the vehicle,
and Richard begins filming the burning car with his phone.
This is that footage.
As soon as we got out of the car,
the fire was literally inside the car,
and it was going up very, very fast.
There was a lot of flames and black smoke.
They've escaped from the car,
but Richard is aware the danger hasn't passed.
We didn't know what to expect, whether there was going to be a big explosion.
We knew there was a full tank of petrol along with all our shopping
and some personal belongings in the car.
And there's something else -
they've pulled in directly under some trees.
Some of the trees have now caught fire.
We thought that we're going to set the countryside alight as well.
Richard tries to call the fire brigade but there's a big problem.
I didn't know what the number was.
I was looking around for other people to help me to call
the fire brigade. There was some urgency.
It wasn't just the car.
A local man approaching in his car sees the fire and is forced to pull
over. He offers to call the emergency services.
He spoke in Cypriot to the emergency services,
and then told us that they were on their way.
Luckily, the fire station is close by.
There was what appeared to be explosions coming from the car,
where the tyres had burst and the windows were smashing.
With every explosion,
Richard fears the dry and brittle vegetation will catch further,
threatening the surrounding countryside.
But within ten minutes, local fire officers arrive.
They tackled the trees initially, obviously,
to stop the spread of the fire, and then started to put the fire
out in the car.
Haji Christofi is the fire chief in charge of the call-out.
They extinguished the fire using a water hose.
If the fire crew hadn't been there in time,
the fire would have spread to the dry grass,
the trees and the nearby area,
and may have put the nearby village in danger.
The car is left a burnt out shell.
Speaking to the fire brigade,
they believed it to be a leaking fuel pipe,
and so hence the fire spread so quickly.
It was the fuel that was on fire.
And so we were driving all the way to our villa and back down to Paphos
with a leaking fuel tank.
It's a holiday experience Richard and his friend will never forget.
I run a health and safety company here in the UK,
and I'm usually quite switched on to risks and hazards,
but you let your guard down on holiday.
It could have been far worse,
and both Richard and his friend count themselves lucky.
We believe we had a bit of a close call. We literally didn't have any
spare seconds other than to get ourselves out
of the car before the fire was inside,
and so we were lucky to be alive.
And it's worth remembering the emergency number in Europe
is different to ours. It's 112. Make a note.
And see you next time on Close Calls.