Series following the emergency services. We hear the 999 call made by a three-year-old which saves his mother's life and see RNLI lifeguards rescue a football team from the sea.
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Today on Real Rescues -
she was just waiting at a roundabout, but in a split second, Penny's life was changed forever.
Two men in a boat try to rescue a football team being swept out to sea
-in a rip current.
-Quick, get in, mate.
Just calm down, guys. We'll come and get you.
And the three-year-old who makes two emergency calls to save Mum's life.
Hello and welcome to Real Rescues.
We've been given special access to Britain's emergency services.
Today we're at one of the biggest police control centres
in the country near Southampton.
Right now, the staff here are taking 999 calls from people
going through life-changing and life-threatening emergencies.
The team in this one room handles over a quarter-of-a-million calls a year from people in distress.
You can see those people sat around. Nev is a friend of the programme.
We'll chat to Nev in a while.
They're all paying attention to their screens and to the screens here,
which are showing various things going on on our motorways.
Various different tables, looking after different departments. That is the big control room.
That is where all the big cheeses hang out.
I'm looking for Lisa, over here, who we're going to chat with
to find out how things have been going whilst we've been away.
You had a big incident. Was it a bomb that they'd found?
Yeah, it was a weekday.
About 10.00 in the morning, we had a call from some builders
who were working on a former World War II bomb site
that had buildings on in the meantime that they'd re-dug up.
There was about 12cm of what appeared to be a bomb,
-which obviously caused a huge, large-scale operation.
-A huge area?
Initially, we were looking at about 100 metres.
Which you can appreciate, weekday in the middle of Southampton, was a vast amount of people.
Businesses, cars, etc.
Amazing, you had to contact all the different services, bomb squad?
Bomb squads, council, police, fire brigade, everybody working on it.
We discovered a gas mains halfway through, which meant it extended to 200 metres,
which obviously made the incident even more of a huge scale.
You never know what's going to come in here.
And it's coming in all the time. Louise.
Absolutely. Nev Johnson is here. He's a traffic cop.
You don't know what is happening, either, every day?
Every minute, sometimes, it can change.
Really? And quite tough stuff, as well, actually.
You were at the call-out we're about to see, and it's an unusual story of survival.
Penny was waiting at a roundabout when another vehicle appeared
out of the blue and smashed into the side of her car.
It's late afternoon when PC Nev Johnson gets the call-out from control.
Echo 23. The road is completely gridlocked with traffic, over.
At the roundabout, he's faced with the devastating collision.
Penny is trapped in her vehicle.
The other driver has hit her with such force, her car has been shoved
up and along the verge for several metres before smashing into the crash barrier.
Two ambulances are already on the scene.
Both vehicles are on the north pavement.
Both female drivers are trapped in the vehicles, effectively.
The other driver is not badly injured,
but Penny and her car have absorbed the full impact of the collision.
The side has been pushed right in.
Penny is trapped by the door and by the foot pedals.
At the moment, she's conscious.
Ambulance technician Richard Garment has climbed into the car.
Her vital signs are giving him serious cause for concern.
It was very, very cramped in the car.
She was asking what had happened.
I told her she'd been involved in a collision,
so she obviously had no memory of the event.
I listened to her chest, and there wasn't a lot of movement in terms of air entry.
Initially, I suspected that her lungs may have collapsed.
Also, she was complaining of a lot of pain in her neck.
And down her back and in her pelvis and legs.
Again, the likelihood of a serious fracture or a life-threatening pelvis injury was quite high.
The fire crews are on the scene to cut Penny out of her car.
It's going to be a complex operation.
They have to work with great care as quickly as possible.
They can't risk further injury. Ian Gray is the fire incident commander.
We had to take the roof off to get her out.
So keep her straight and a neck collar on and not bend her body.
We could have take the door off, taken her out sideways. We don't like to take casualties out sideways,
especially when they've had
an impact that can affect the spine and the neck.
While the fire crews start work disentangling the cars,
PC Nev has to keep the area safe and also talk to all the witnesses.
This might result in a prosecution.
No-one can quite believe what they've seen.
Another driver was waiting behind Penny with her three-month-old baby in the car.
The car just didn't stop.
-It came straight up that junction.
-That one there, yeah?
It went straight into the other car.
It was so fast. It wasn't even...
I don't know what happened to her. There was no attempt to slow down.
-Where were you in relation to that?
-Here. I haven't moved my car.
Back inside the car, Richard is doing all he can to keep Penny stable.
Initially, we immobilised her, because it's important to keep
the back and the spine in alignment in case there are any breaks.
We put her on oxygen, as her oxygen levels were falling, and we gave her some pain relief,
because she was complaining of being a lot of pain.
Nev has now got a clearer picture from the witnesses of how this freak collision happened.
The lady in the Meriva was coming up north on the A3(M).
She's come off and drifted across the carriageway onto the hard shoulder,
over-corrected, would appear to have hit the kerb where the police bike is and effectively just shot across here
and gone straight into the side of a car that was actually waiting to join the roundabout.
She's obviously lost her control by hitting the kerb and gone into the side of it.
There is no immediately apparent reason why the driver of the other car lost control.
She's taken to an ambulance for further medical tests.
Meanwhile, the extrication work continues.
The emergency services know Penny's condition could deteriorate at any minute.
Her breathing is very laboured.
We suspected that at least one of her lungs had collapsed.
We had to be careful about how we moved her, even though time was of the essence.
The collision is so serious that Nev wants to get hold of Penny's husband, John, as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, he's out of the country.
Is that John?
Hello, it's PC Johnson from the Road Police from down at Cosham.
I've been asked to contact you - your wife's had a bump in her car
and she's going to go to the hospital very shortly. She's OK.
She's had another car hit her on the side. Don't panic yourself on it.
I'll give you a call when I know more information.
The crews have completed the first stage. They've disentangled the cars.
But Penny's condition is deteriorating.
She's beginning to drift in and out of consciousness.
Initially, she didn't appear that distressed, apart from
suffering from shock, obviously with a vehicle hitting you side-on.
But during the extrication, that's when we noticed a difference in her condition. Her eyes were flickering.
The heavy cutting gear will speed up this rescue.
She's so close to freedom, but her condition is still very unstable.
It's clear that Penny is in quite a bad way.
You were making phone calls from the actual scene.
We saw you make that call. How do you decide to make those calls?
You try and notify, certainly in that situation, next of kin
to let somebody know what's happened. In any event,
her daughters had been contacted.
I was trying to find a number for her husband to let him know what had happened.
Is it a difficult judgment?
When you're beside the road and somebody's in a car like that?
Yes, we couldn't talk to her, because she wasn't responding to us anyway.
She was on oxygen and trying to be cut from the car.
It's difficult for us to get near to her to try and get information
from her as to who she was and that sort of information.
When you speak to somebody, how do you judge the phone call?
On the phone, it's difficult to convey bad news in a sincere way.
You try and avoid giving bad news on the phone unless you have to.
I just told her husband that she'd been in a crash and so on
and could he get back to the country as soon as possible.
Without alarming him that it was as serious as it was.
OK, thank you very much. Penny's condition is very serious.
In fact, there's worse to come.
As we'll see a little bit later, her life is in more danger than anyone realises. Nick.
Thank you, Louise.
As you can hear, it is abuzz in here with various calls being taken.
It can be anything from the bomb disposal story that we heard earlier to road traffic control.
All from different areas. This is Fareham and Gosport, over there we have Portsmouth.
Sat nicely in the middle here for us is Sarah.
One of the more worrying calls you can take is about a missing child.
This story has a happy ending, isn't it?
Yes, that's right. Yes.
We took a call from a family who had just been on holiday.
They got home, frantically unpacking, chaos everywhere.
And Mum noticed that the little boy was missing,
her little two-year-old son.
After looking everywhere, she obviously had to call 999.
We took the details from her, always get a description.
-It was quite sweet. He was two years old, blonde and wearing a Batman costume.
-So, should be easy to spot?
Yes, that is right. The call taker stayed on the phone, took all of the details, calmed Mum down.
And then before we needed to attend, she said, "It's OK, we've found him."
He'd climbed into one of the empty suitcases and hidden himself under the bed.
So, they're the kind of results we want. Thank you very much.
-We're not interrupting when we chat to you?
-No. You're fine.
If Sarah is busy, as I come up to walk towards her,
she'll put her hand up and so we can't talk to her.
So we'll move on. On Real Rescues, we're able to hear some of those real life 999 calls
that people like Sarah take from emergency control centres across Britain.
These aren't reconstructions and many tell remarkable stories, as we're about to hear. Listen to this.
It's first thing in the morning, and a family are following their regular routine.
Dad has gone to work, leaving his wife at home
with two young children and baby when Mum suddenly falls ill.
It's left to the oldest child, who's only three years old, to dial 999.
This is the actual call that came into the police control room.
Isn't your heart in your mouth, listening to that?
More on that dramatic call in a minute.
We'll meet the wee one involved.
Barbara was the operator on that call.
You must be desperate to find information without scaring the child you're speaking to?
Yes, definitely. Due to the young age of the child,
as you hear, it's a little difficult to understand.
It wasn't an easy task.
And plainly, you need the information, and plainly, the child is doing his best.
But not necessarily answering the questions you're asking?
That's right. That is why we have to keep on prompting the child as well
to answer the proper questions that we're asking.
By this time, all you know is that you have a child
somewhere in Scotland telling you that Mummy is sleeping or lying in the hallway.
-In the hallway somewhere, yes.
-Let's have a listen.
And this is the little boy that you heard, demonstrating that he is very much a little boy.
You are a little boy, aren't you? Not a little girl at all?
No. And mum Leanne.
Extraordinary situation, there.
So, tell me what you were doing at that stage.
Jack, you were talking on the phone.
What were you trying to do?
Tell the police to understand what I was saying.
Were you? And what were you trying to tell them?
My mum was fitting in the hall.
Right, and then they hung up the phone, and that phone stopped working so what did you do then?
Get my dad's phone that was under the couch.
What, you find another phone under the couch?
And decided to... What did you do with that phone?
Phoned 999 again.
You did? For a second time
with a different phone?
Mum, he was saying a word that we couldn't understand,
"etting" - what was he trying to tell us?
He was just trying to say that I was fitting.
He's been trained for a while how to use the phone when I'm fitting badly,
so he knows what to say and how to go about doing it.
At the time, he wasn't clear enough, saying it, because he was so little.
And you were fitting because you have a condition...?
I have epilepsy, strong epilepsy.
This is interesting, you hung up the phone.
Which seems an extraordinary thing to do to a child
who is in that situation, but it's part of your routine.
Yes. It's so if we can see if we can phone back to see if there is any adults in the house.
-So they can answer and come and help.
The difficulty was that the phone actually
ran out of batteries so when you tried to ring back, no answer.
However, as Jack very plainly explained to us,
he then went off and, because it wasn't working, found another phone.
-Where did you find it?
-Under the couch.
-Under the couch.
And made a call, 999 again,
and this is what came through.
Jack, when the police came through the door,
how did they come through the door?
-They kicked it in.
-The lock was coming down.
-And what were you doing when they came in?
Trying to get my sisters out of the way.
Were you? And were you looking after your mum, keeping her cool?
I was trying to feed the baby and get the police in at the same time.
Lots of things going on. Martin, you took the call.
The call came back in, he was clever enough to ring.
-And this is what saved his mum's life, yes?
Because... Explain how using a different phone helped.
Well, the phone had been used before to ring the police.
So we did a quick search on the systems
and we got an address from that telephone number
so we went straight on the radio.
Leanne, when you became conscious again, what did the police and the ambulance people tell you?
The first person that told me anything was Jack.
He was jumping up and down hyper, he was like, "I've saved your life."
At the time I knew I'd had a seizure because I know the symptoms, and it wasn't until I fully came around
that the police and paramedics said, "Jack is telling the truth."
They talked me through what had actually happened,
and I was quite amazed that Jack had actually done that
for such a young age.
Absolutely amazing. It's an extraordinary story.
Can I get...can we do a high-five?
Thank you very much. You really did save your mum's life.
If you're going to teach your child to use a phone,
use one that's registered to the house so they can send people straightaway to help.
-A pleasure to meet you all, thank you.
Still to come on Real Rescues, the junior football team about to be swept out to sea.
Guys, climb up here.
Hurry up, guys.
And an animal 999 call - yes, that's a bullock trapped down a well.
Earlier we saw driver Penny trapped in her car.
Paramedics urgently need to find a way to get her out of the car without putting her life at risk.
The fire crews have been working painstakingly for almost 40 minutes.
They are preparing to take the roof off.
However, Penny's condition is beginning to deteriorate.
The ambulance crew fear she has a collapsed lung and a smashed pelvis,
which can result in dramatic blood loss.
The firefighters have cut through the windscreen and are ready to start on the metalwork.
Hydraulic cutters that they call the jaws of life.
They cut through all the A, B, C and D posts on a vehicle quite easily.
Penny is protected by a plastic shield as the powerful machine slices through the metal posts.
Inside, Richard spots some alarming changes in her condition.
Before we began the extrication, we noticed that Penny's level of consciousness was starting to drop.
She was becoming unstable, and we needed to move quite quickly.
The firefighters are trained and experienced in working under this sort of pressure.
The lift-out would be carefully choreographed with the ambulance crew.
Speed is everything, but nothing can be rushed.
We had to ensure that everything was kept in line in case there was a neck or back fracture,
because obviously that can then lead to quite a catastrophic injury, should something go wrong.
Meanwhile, PC Nev Johnson is talking to the other driver in one of the ambulances.
He's trying to discover how and why she lost control of her car.
She has no memory of the collision. Nev suspects she may have blacked out at the wheel.
All I would say is you were followed by a car who did notice you drifting
in and out the carriageway a little bit of the hard shoulder.
The ambulance crew carry out some routine tests, but their results are inconclusive.
It's a distraction of some sort in the vehicle, either medical or some sort of distraction, certainly.
The priority is freeing Penny - they just have to prise back the crushed door.
Her ordeal is almost over.
She's been freed from the mangled metal at her side.
Now her rescuers are ready to slide her on to a spinal board.
1, 2, 3, lift.
OK, Penny. Watch her legs.
When we were removing Penny from the vehicle, it became apparent just how much pain she was actually in.
She was moving her legs around and she didn't want to straighten her legs.
She was complaining of a lot of pain around her pelvis area.
At that point, I think we knew there was a real chance
she had a pelvic injury, which can actually be quite serious.
Penny's body has suffered a massive impact.
They won't know the full extent of her internal injuries until she's at hospital.
Richard's very concerned about the damage to her pelvis.
In your pelvis, you have a network of blood vessels.
If you break your pelvis, these become exposed, as with any laceration,
and you can potentially lose pretty much your blood volume, so you could bleed out completely.
It's not long now.
One final lift, and she'll be out and on the ambulance stretcher.
Thanks, guys, that's brilliant teamwork.
Richard will travel in the ambulance with Penny, monitoring her condition.
Now Nev and Ian can take a closer look at the wreckage.
It's amazing. The side impact has done really well.
Considering the car was lifted off the pavement, off the road around here.
Those barriers are brilliant.
That drop there as well. If it weren't for the barrier, that car could have gone right over there.
They discovered that only the crash barrier has stopped Penny's car
from dropping 80ft onto the busy motorway below.
Penny's on her way to A&E where the trauma team are standing by.
Meanwhile, her husband John is flying home to be at her side.
Penny, I know you don't remember much of that.
Graham, you do, because you were the doctor, the surgeon, on call that day.
You had a catalogue of injuries - what were they?
I'd ruptured my spleen
and also ruptured my diaphragm and had shattered my pelvis.
Which are very serious injuries. What did you do when you saw her?
I first met Penny in the resuscitation room of the emergency department,
and it was clear that she was very, very ill
and was bleeding internally excessively.
We had no choice, but to take her
to the operating theatre and we didn't know what we'd find.
We'd normally try to do a scan to try and find out
what the problems were, but it all came as a bit of a surprise.
Would you say they were kind of catastrophic injuries that she had then?
Those are the sort of injuries that most people don't survive.
Wow. So what makes her different?
Obviously, the skills of you and everybody else who was involved, what makes Penny special then?
Well, Penny's young and Penny's fit, which I hope she's pleased I say that.
Also, she got to our emergency room pretty quickly,
and we also didn't spend a long time thinking about what to do. We just got on and did it.
OK. So what made you think did it, Penny?
You play hockey, you are a pretty sporty person, do you think that made a difference to you?
Yes, I think that did make a huge difference.
I think all that's gone on in life before something like this makes a huge difference.
You play the clarinet. Did that make a difference to your lungs?
I think I'd got very good breath control.
So when I didn't have part of my lungs working,
I was able to control what I did have working, but I think
it's got to go down primarily to the skill of the people
who got me out of the car and the team in A&E.
-What would you say to all of them?
-An enormous thank you.
How are you now, how are you doing?
Yeah, I spend an awful lot of time in the physio gym with physio colleagues.
I've a lot to be grateful to them as well
for getting me on the road to recovery, but I'm getting there.
You're not skiing yet?
-Are you driving yet?
Yes, I'm driving - the desire to be independent far outweighed
the fear of getting back behind the wheel of a car again.
What's striking about you is you seem to me an immensely positive person.
-Does that make a difference to people's recovery as well?
-I'm sure it does, yes.
After that sort of injury, you have a lot of recovery to make,
even after you've left hospital, and Penny's done fantastically.
Brilliant. It's lovely to meet you, Penny, thank you.
-Thank you very much.
Police say that the driver of the Vauxhall
did have a blackout and she's been banned from driving for nine months.
The DVLA are investigating her medical condition to see if she can be allowed to return to the road.
Now, a bullock in a very, very small space.
When farmer Chris counts his cattle he discovers one steer is missing, but where is it?
Well, it's... Well, it's down a well.
And it'll take major engineering work to get to it.
The bullock is curled up at the bottom of a 12-foot deep well shaft.
-Chris couldn't take in what he was seeing.
-I was absolutely horrified.
I could not believe... This well has been there
for as long as I'd been farming here, 46-47 years, and we never had that problem before.
I was absolutely staggered. I'd never seen anything like it.
Chris had been checking his beef herd.
He raised the alarm when the numbers didn't add up.
I counted them, and there was one short, so I thought,
"My goodness me, there's one gone into the river."
'So I walked the river banks - no sign of any cattle.'
I came back, walked around them and, to my horror,
I saw this one steer in the well.
So, Chris got straight on to Shropshire Fire and Rescue.
And it's fallen in the well?
It's gone into the well.
It's about, I suppose, a three-foot diameter well.
He's wrapped up in the bottom, and it's quite deep.
Watch manager Paul Fulgoni and his team responded to the call.
I went down in Chris's 4x4 and just made sure that the track would take a fire appliance or two.
There's an area here...
Looking down into the well, two metres by about four metres deep,
and at the bottom, it was absolutely full of animal
with no space around it at all.
The lack of space is a real problem.
The dangers to the crew were, if we've got to put a firefighter down
in a confined space with an animal that's...
You can't tell whether it's going to thrash around
and injure a firefighter with its feet, head or whatever.
They have to find some way of creating space
around the bullock to save it and also to protect the firefighters.
Chris comes up with just the man to help - local digger driver Brian.
He starts digging down a few feet away to create a slipway to the well wall.
My concern was the fact that it was 12 foot deep, the trench is going to be 12 foot deep -
there's no way you'd want to dig a trench 12 foot deep with sheer sides.
So I had to taper the sides into the bottom.
There's a massive amount of soil to be removed before they even get to the well wall.
As he gets closer, there's concern that one wrong move
could mean serious injury to this valuable bullock.
But Chris never doubts his friend's skill.
He's just so accurate with the way that he swings that bucket around.
I would say he could put a cork in a bottle and not break it.
It's a noisy and potentially terrifying experience
for this young steer, but he's staying remarkably calm.
He was always very, very quiet all of the time that he was down there.
He's a very quiet steer, and it didn't seem to worry him at all.
They finally reach the brick walls of the well,
which will have to be dismantled, but without pushing them in onto the bullock.
I made sure I only took two rows at a time out.
Taking a large lump of brickwork out would weaken the structure, and my thought was that
the sides of the well would then collapse on the bullock.
So far, so good. But the animal has been trapped in this confined space for at least two hours.
They can't tell at this stage if it has any serious injuries.
The next part of the rescue will be critical.
Once we enlarged the trench, the front of the Bullock turned,
and we were able to see him elongated in the bottom of the trench.
We were hoping that he'd have strength to be able to stand.
That would have been the best scenario.
Unfortunately, he didn't have the strength in his legs.
They have to use the crane to lift him out,
but first they need to get the strops around him.
We have to be careful where we fix the strops around an animal.
We can't take them round the middle, because they've not got
the ability to take their own body weight in their stomach area.
So it's got to be under the front legs and at the rear, round the hindquarters, round the hips.
So it takes a little bit of time to fix those strops.
At last they're ready to start lifting.
Slowly, but surely, the bullock is brought to level ground.
An awesome sight, really, seeing the steer hanging in mid-air
with two straps around.
But he was OK, he never struggled.
He was very quiet.
But the bullock has been squeezed up in the well for so long that its legs just can't get going.
It's an anxious moment for everyone, especially Chris.
I thought initially he was going to stand,
but as they let the weight off very slowly, he collapsed, really.
The vet administers antibiotics and painkillers.
There's no sign of broken limbs, which was everyone's main concern, but it is possible
that the whole trauma could have been too much for him.
It's going to be a long night for Chris as he waits to see
if his bullock gets back on its feet.
And here they take calls about animals quite a lot.
Right now, they're dealing with two Jack Russells which are loose
on one of the motorways and are in danger of causing an accident.
Now, we've all travelled behind a lorry at some stage,
praying that its load is more secure than perhaps it looks.
Most are safe as houses, but every now and again, the worst happens.
A 999 call's just come in. Traffic cop Rob Brind is on his way to a car accident in a narrow country lane.
An HGV has shed part of its load
and it's hit another car,
so we're just going to assist.
Local units are already in attendance.
We'll just see what's going on.
The scene is filled with emergency vehicles.
A car has a smashed windscreen, but it's not been caused by a collision with another vehicle.
Dave and Linda Jones, the couple in the car,
have had an incredibly lucky escape after a pick-up truck shed its load.
We were just driving along, going that way, and a lorry
going that way round the bend had, like, fence posts on the back, and they all just tumbled off and hit us,
went through the windscreen and the front of the car.
Three or four of the fence posts flew onto the bonnet of their car, shooting up onto the windscreen.
Somehow, the posts were deflected by the wiper blades just inches away from the couple.
Yeah, hit the windscreen.
Dave was driving, but is adamant he's OK.
He seems to be fine. He's probably coping better than I am.
But ambulance technician Kevin Deverall needs to make sure
-Dave has no hidden injuries.
-I'm absolutely fine.
I've been walking up and down this road with the police for 20 minutes.
It doesn't mean a thing. People have got up and walked around,
and then, all of a sudden, their back starts to hurt.
Rob goes off to talk to the driver of the pick-up truck
as Dave and Linda try to come to terms about what's happened.
It was so quick. I hit the brakes, and that was that.
The car was a mess.
My wife's in total shock.
Well, if you saw three or four big fence posts coming towards you...
I think when the lorry braked, they flew off,
went straight through.
Luckily, it didn't come into the car, or...
We'll be all right.
The posts have smashed the car's windscreen, but thankfully, it didn't shatter.
All the same, Kevin would rather the couple were thoroughly checked over in hospital.
We've got a lady who's quite shocked, because, obviously, when the timbers
hit the windscreen, she thought they were going to come through.
So she slid down in her seat belt in the chair,
trying to avoid the wood coming through, and the gentleman's got
a little bit of discomfort where he was jolted in the seat,
and both of them are refusing to go to hospital at the moment.
But we're going to stay with them and make sure of their blood pressure level and their pulse settles down.
He's amazed that no-one has been more seriously hurt.
All of these fence panels have slid across the bonnet,
and, for some reason, they've not actually gone into the car.
If they'd gone into the car, we probably would have been looking at a double fatal.
So they're VERY lucky, and I think they both realise how lucky they are.
And it's just sinking into them now
that they had a very narrow escape.
Well, if we'd been going faster, I think it would have come straight through,
but we were only doing, like, 30mph when the logs hit us.
So we're all right. We'll be fine - I hope.
Meanwhile, Bob has been investigating how these fence posts managed
-to part company with the pick-up.
-I've spoken to the guys down there.
They've confirmed that they did shed a load, and it's all been put back and it's all secure now.
I've got to confirm that. Now, the way I've dealt with it is given them a fixed-penalty notice
for a dangerous load, effectively,
and that is a £60 fine, three points on a licence.
So, hopefully, it'll stop them from ever doing this again, and making sure that their load is secure.
The good thing is your car and your windscreen did what it's supposed to do, and that is protect you guys.
And so you've got to be pretty proud of that, to be honest with you,
that you're coming out of it pretty much injury-free.
It could have been far worse. I don't want to be doom and gloom, but that could be.
Kevin agrees luck was on their side today.
So, is it straight down and buy a lottery ticket?
I think you need to! Absolutely!
Shaken but not stirred.
Extraordinary. Make sure you secure your load
if you're tying things on the back of a van.
OK, moving on. Lifeguards on a beach are always on the lookout for rip currents.
They're particularly dangerous for swimmers,
who can be swept out to sea.
That's exactly what happened at Woolacombe beach in Devon.
The RNLI had to leap into action
when eight children and three adults, an entire football team,
were dragged out into deep water
and deep trouble, all captured on the lifeguard's helmet camera.
Luke and Sam are leaping into action.
They need to get the inflatable rescue boat out fast.
The rip tide is taking bathers way out to sea.
Seven of them are already tiring.
They're under-13s from the same football team.
Luke goes at full throttle.
With so many to rescue at once, there's not a second to lose.
When they get there, Luke throws out floats to the exhausted swimmers,
whilst Sam wastes no time pulling them on board.
Can you get in, mate?
Just calm down, guys, all right? We're coming to get you.
Cheers, mate. Back here.
Quick. Stay there.
You all right?
Give us the girl, buddy! The girl.
Are you all right for two minutes?
We'll come and get you. Do you want a life jacket, mate?
And this is Joe and Tommy, who were in the water.
That looked pretty scary.
Erm, yeah. You don't realise how scary it is until it's all over and you realise how lucky you are.
Was it frightening when you were in the water?
Yeah. It just takes you out of breath, really, and you can't swim, so you have to...
-You just have to hang on there!
-Granddad's with them, as well.
We actually saw you float up alongside the boat there.
Why were you in the water
and why did you get into such trouble so quickly?
Well, we take the guys on a football tour at the end of the season
and we always take them for a swim.
And we went onto Woolacombe beach in between the flags,
where we were basically waist to chest height,
just swimming with them, and then, before you knew it, we were washed out to sea.
Just could not swim against the tide.
I've always called them "rip tides", but they're called "rip currents", I'm told.
What does it feel like when you get taken by one?
Er, you don't initially know, until you sort of look and realise how far
you are from the beach and you're actually going backwards.
You must have been terrified to see the kids going out with you.
Er, I can't say I was terrified, because... I'd obviously got my two grandchildren there.
We also take other children whose parents can't go and we look after them,
so you've got children in there, your own family and others...
I think I'd be terrified at that stage, especially with other people's kids.
Let's take a look how it developed.
Jump out that side, guys, now, quick.
Quick, quick, hurry up.
Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up.
They rushed back out for the rest of the swimmers.
Again they head for the youngest first.
Some surfers are helping out.
The children are clinging onto their boards.
Climb up here.
Mate, climb in, I'm not going to lift you all the way.
Hurry up, guys.
The boys are clearly relieved to get out of the water and get back to dry land to join the rest of their team.
After one more trip to pick up the adults, it's time for a head count.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight,
-nine, ten, eleven.
-All of the eleven are safe and well.
Yeah, no-one's swallowed any water?
Yeah? You feeling all right? You're not feeling sick? As long as you're all good, eh?
All a very terrifying experience, but resolved very quickly,
thanks to Luke, who basically had the camera on there,
and his colleague in the boat.
-What's your colleague's name?
Sam, OK. Tell us what happened there.
Because you're on a beach between the flags, so it's presumably a safe swimming beach,
and yet suddenly you are all swept out to sea. How does that happen?
It is. We put the red and yellow flags
at the safest place at the time.
Throughout the day, we'll assess the conditions
and move them if need be.
But with sudden rip currents, they come out of nowhere,
and literally within minutes, they take people out if people are in the way.
There are two ways to deal with rip currents.
There's no point in trying to swim against it.
Absolutely not, no. That just wears you out.
You use a lot of energy and you get taken out anyway.
You're more in danger of drowning if you lose that energy. So conserve energy.
Conserve energy and stay nice and calm and raise your arm.
It's easier for the lifeguards to notice.
The guys did very well.
Given that they were swept out, Granddad and everybody did exactly the right thing.
They did extremely well, yup.
They realised they were in trouble,
but they stayed calm, reserved energy and put their arm in the air.
We already knew about it, but just the arm in the air makes it easier.
-Can you swim out of a rip tide?
-You can if you're a reasonable swimmer.
We always tell people to swim across or parallel to the beach.
-So don't try and swim against the current.
Swim sideways into the surf line or into the waves where the waves are breaking.
If not, just let it take you out and stay nice and calm.
Cos that'll stop, and you'll get a chance to swim back in, or somebody will get you.
It will stop, and you can swim around it or wait for us to get you.
Bet you'll be pleased to be back on dry land, aren't you?
I thought you all did very well. Nice to talk to you, guys.
Thank you very much.
Just a quick update on those dogs. They think that they were abandoned.
They've had to close the whole motorway and they're still looking for them. They can't find them.
Oh, yes, and one other thing before we go today...
The bullock that had to be rescued from that 12-foot well...
two hours after his ordeal, he was up on his feet with nothing worse than a few bruises.
I was very relieved that it was OK. I thought he may have broken a limb,
and that would have been a big financial loss.
I was absolutely staggered when I saw that he was OK that evening at 9 o'clock.
-And he can't thank the firefighters enough.
-They were wonderful.
They brought a tender from Shrewsbury, and of course
a lifting gear tender from Wellington...
that was obviously instrumental in getting the steer out.
That was really interesting about rip currents.
So do you swim to the side?
Swim across and away from them. But we haven't got time for more.
-That's it for Real Rescues today. Join us again tomorrow.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin present dramatic events from the day-to-day work of the emergency services, going behind the scenes at one of Britain's biggest police control centres.
We hear the 999 call made by a three-year-old which saves his mother's life and see RNLI lifeguards rescue a boys football team from being swept out to sea by a rip current.