Episode 6 Real Rescues


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Episode 6

Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin present dramatic events from the work of the emergency services. There's a rescue from a blazing trawler and an expectant father calls for help.


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Today, one of our most extraordinary real rescues, and all the drama is recorded.

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'A trawler is on fire in a force-nine gale and snowstorm in the North Atlantic.'

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'A ship-to-ship rescue in the most dangerous conditions is the one and only chance for the crew.'

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Those are some of the most remarkable pictures you'll ever see.

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Also, the baby that waits for no-one, born on a landing and delivered by dad after he dials 999.

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WOMAN SCREAMS

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Hello and welcome to Real Rescues.

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This is the control room of the South Central Ambulance Service.

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Call handlers here look after a population of four million people

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across four counties.

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At busy time, the staff here respond to one emergency call a minute

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and it's actually particularly busy at the moment.

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There are busier times and there are gentler times.

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But they're not always responding to accidents that have just happened. It could be 24 hours ago.

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-Kelly, are you all right to talk?

-I am.

-Jolly good.

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-You've had an emergency this morning but from an accident that happened yesterday.

-That's right.

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A female's fallen off a horse yesterday.

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She's gone home, a bit achy and painy,

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gone to her GP this morning,

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her GP's assessed her and feels she needs an ambulance.

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What sort of injury are we talking about?

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Possible neck or back injury. High back.

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But the decision here is not to send an ambulance, right?

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No, I rang CSD desk who'd spoken with the doctor.

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Between them, they've agreed that the Helimed would be a better approach.

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To get a smoother ride because they're worried about the possible fracture. So even 24 hours later,

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the person's managed to get themselves to the GP,

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but not safe enough for them to go by ambulance to hospital, they're sending a Helimed.

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We'll find out more throughout the programme.

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That's fascinating. Now, it is the most dangerous job in Britain

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and people who do it have a one in 20 chance of being killed at work.

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We're talking about the treacherous world of deep-sea fishing.

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We're about to see the coastguard respond to a mayday

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in what must be absolutely the worst conditions for a rescue.

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It's snowing, a force-nine gale is raging

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and a trawler is on fire, its five crew trapped on board.

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The coastguard have released this dramatic film of events as they unfold.

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'The North Atlantic Ocean.

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'The freezing cold night.

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'Force-nine winds whip the sea into a frenzy.

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'And in the middle of all this, the fishing boat Be Ready is ablaze.

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'These incredible pictures were captured by a rescue helicopter's camera.

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'The flames and hot gases have forced the five fishermen to the front of the boat.

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'Clinging on, their lives hang in the balance.

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'This fire started over an hour ago.

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'Skipper Ellis Fullerton had been asleep in his bunk.'

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The first I remember is waking up and somebody shouting, "Fire, fire!"

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I went up the hatch just in my underwear, basically,

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and as I got to the top of the ladder, I could see the fire.

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I never actually tried to extinguish it, it was impossible.

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I just went straight up to the bridge and I started to put the mayday out.

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'Ellis immediately sent a satellite distress signal to alert the coastguard.

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'The fire had started in the galley due to an electrical fault.

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'Fanned by strong winds, it was ripping through the trawler at frightening speed.'

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It was just basically like a blowtorch.

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It was moving and going through the ship faster than you ever could imagine a fire could ever move.

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'45 miles away, Pentland Coastguard in Orkney received Ellis's distress call.'

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'Pinpointing the Be Ready's position,

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'they alerted all nearby shipping and scrambled rescue helicopter Oscar Charlie from its Shetland base.

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'Winch man Kieran Murray was onboard.'

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Personally, my greatest fear is anything to do with fire.

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So when you hear that it's a small fishing vessel

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with five POB, on fire, winter's night, in snow, heavy seas,

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to me, that's a nightmare. There's nothing worse.

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'Back on the fishing boat, things were getting worse.

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'Ellis discovered that he had lost control of the engines.'

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All the emergency stops wouldn't work.

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We couldn't get the speed off the boat. It was carrying on moving ahead.

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'Not knowing that Ellis couldn't stop the boat,

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'his crew had started to launch the life rafts.

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'They thought they were doing the right thing, but disaster was about to strike.'

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With the pandemonium, everything happening,

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me trying to speak to the coastguard, trying to get a signal back, trying another channel,

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the life raft got torn away.

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'The combined forces of the boat moving forward and the strong winds

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'had snapped the lines tying the rafts.

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'Their chances of survival were now looking bleak.'

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At that point, we had nothing left.

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'In the meantime, another fishing vessel, the Mispar, had answered the coastguard's call for help.

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'And, as fate would have it, the boat was skippered by David Robertson,

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'Ellis's friend and neighbour.'

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'The Mispar has its trawling nets out, worth thousands of pounds.

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'But after hearing Ellis on the radio,

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'David instantly decided to cut them away so that he could rush to his friend's aid.'

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For David to have to cut away his gear, it's a big thing.

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Anybody in this job knows it's worth a lot of money,

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but David told me, he said he knew from my voice, when I was saying we were on fire,

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that something very, very serious was wrong.

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'Unfortunately for Ellis and the crew,

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'both the Mispar and the rescue helicopter were over an hour away from the burning boat.'

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We want the aircraft to get there as quickly as possible

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so we can rescue the five crew. You can't go any faster, but you wish you could.

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'Onboard the Be Ready, the fire was intensifying.

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'Ellis and his men were running out of time and space.'

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I went to go and get the lifejackets, cos we decided at this point

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we had to be on the bow. There was nowhere else we could go. It was the furthest away from the fire.

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I remember the heat from the fire was so much that my socks were sticking to the deck.

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'Now huddled at the front of the boat,

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'Ellis and his men haven't had the chance to grab proper clothing.

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'With the flames at their backs, they're caught between the devil and the freezing deep blue sea.'

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Having no life rafts, if this boat was to sink

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or we have to go in the water, we're dead.

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Absolutely extraordinary pictures.

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Ellis and his crew are in an impossible situation.

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Their boat is in danger of being totally engulfed by fire.

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Even if the coastguard get to them in time, winching them to safety is going to be incredibly difficult

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if not impossible, as we'll see shortly.

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Now, whiplash happens in over 50 percent of car collisions.

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It affects over 400,000 people and the resulting neck pain can be permanent.

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Belinda knows all about it. She ended up being cut from the wreckage of her car

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just minutes after arranging to trade it in to a dealer.

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We'll be telling you how to avoid whiplash later,

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but first, Belinda is going to talk us through her accident.

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I'd been with a friend that day and we'd gone to look at a new car

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for myself, dropped her home,

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driving back to my mum and dad's house.

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Traffic was quite steady. It wasn't rush hour.

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But it was just flowing quite naturally.

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'The traffic came to a halt, Belinda stopped, as well,

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but the car behind didn't.'

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It's an automatic thing for me just to look up in my rear-view mirror,

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and as I did, I just saw the red car driving

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and what probably was seconds felt like minutes.

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I'm thinking, "She's not stopping. She's not stopping.

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"Please stop, please stop." And then, suddenly, the impact.

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SIREN WAILS

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'Critical care doctor Louisa Chan is on duty in a rapid response car.'

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So we're going to a four-vehicle road traffic collision in Hythe.

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We know that there's one person with neck pain and back pain,

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but we don't know how many other casualties are involved.

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Let's see what's gone on.

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'Louisa arrives to find a red car has smashed into the back of Belinda's Renault Clio,

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'sending her into the van in front.

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'Of the drivers involved, only Belinda needs serious medical attention.'

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-This is Belinda.

-Hello, Belinda.

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She's a 25-year-old lady who was driving this car.

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The car was hit from behind, which shunted her into the one in front

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-and she did a bit of that.

-Oh, dear.

-She's complaining of typical sternum seatbelt pain.

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She's also complaining of C7 upwards,

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-so all of it, all tenderness.

-OK.

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-And how fast is this road?

-60 miles an hour.

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-OK.

-She reckons they were down to about 30.

-Cos they were slowing down. OK.

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'After being violently shaken, Belinda has been left with

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'a great deal of pain in her neck and lower back.'

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Right, I'm going to have a quick feel of your chest

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and feel your tummy and everything, all right?

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I felt instant pain and just generally feeling quite scared, cos I felt like I couldn't move.

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The first thing that went through my head was, "Oh, my God, have I got spinal injuries

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"where I won't be able to move my legs again?" So I was feeling slightly hysterical.

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Still a bit stressed.

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-I've calmed down a hell of a lot.

-Yeah. Good.

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-So is it that side?

-It's all of it, it just feels...

-Sore?

-Yeah.

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-Really sore. That hurts.

-Sorry, sweetheart.

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'Despite her pain, Belinda is more scared by the thought of needing an injection for it.'

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-She's got a phobia of needles.

-Has she?

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The thought of needles just sends my heart racing and pounding even more.

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Do you want to take some tablets painkiller-wise?

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-That would avoid the whole needle thing.

-Yeah, if possible.

-OK, that's fine.

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I've had one filling my whole life and I refused an injection,

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so I'd rather go through the pain of having a filling

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than actually have the injection to stop the pain.

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Unfortunately, we need to take the roof off your car to get you out

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because we need to protect your neck, OK? We're not taking any chances.

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'Satisfied that Belinda doesn't have any other serious internal injuries,

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'Louisa doesn't want to rush her removal and risk further harm.'

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We've got to be very careful. She hasn't got any tingling, she can move her arms and legs and is fine,

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but we can't clear her C-spine until we've had X-rays to make sure there isn't any bone injury.

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'Louisa is keen that Belinda does receive some kind of pain relief before they start to move her.'

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-I've got chewing gum.

-That's all right. Do you want to spit it out?

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I've got three tablets. Do you want me to give them one after the other? Do you want water now?

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We're going to save that water for you just in case we need more tablets, OK?

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'Paramedic Claire Gedge continues to hold Belinda's head steady

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'while fire crews cut the roof off around them.'

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The lady that was sat behind me holding my head,

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she was brilliant, she was talking me through everything.

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The vibrations, I think, were the worst bit, and just hearing the final cracks and crunches

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as everything got taken apart.

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'With the roof removed, the team used many hands to support Belinda

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'and gently ease her onto the spinal board.'

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It was almost like holding me up in awe or something.

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You automatically do feel a bit wobbly,

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like you're about to fall off and back into the car, but I knew I was in safe hands.

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-You all right?

-Mm-hm.

-That's as bad as it gets now.

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'Once Belinda's in the ambulance, Louisa can give her a more thorough check over.'

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All sorts of aches and pains are now emerging because she's been in this impact,

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but other than that, her blood pressure is stable,

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her heart rate's stable. She needs transporting to Southampton General

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to have X-rays of her cervical spine to make sure there's no damage done

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and hopefully, all being well, they'll be able to clear her and give her painkillers

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to sort out all the other injuries.

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-Belinda's here. I'm delighted to see that you're OK. You had quite a bash.

-Yeah.

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-Tell me about your injuries. What was the main problem?

-Mainly my neck and my lower back felt very tender.

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My legs were quite badly bruised, as well. So just generally felt awful.

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And I know you had whiplash. How did that affect you?

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At that point, I felt like I couldn't move, somebody was pushing me back to the chair.

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I couldn't move my neck, and they advised me not to move much, either.

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And afterwards, when I got home, generally just feeling awful and not being able to move much at all.

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Danny, you're a paramedic. You see people with whiplash quite a lot.

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-What is whiplash?

-We call it whiplash because the neck has gone through the activity

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that a hand would go through to create a whip lashing noise.

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The actual injury is a muscle strain in the neck,

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but the industry has chosen to call it whiplash

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and everybody knows it as whiplash, so to save complicating anything,

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-it's just called whiplash.

-You say a muscle strain.

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-What is that muscle doing and why does it feel so painful?

-It's going from the reaching back extremity

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to the forwards extremity in such a short space of time without the muscle being warmed up.

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-It just pulls and strains the muscle.

-And goes into spasm?

-It does go into spasm, yeah.

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-It's not just from car accidents.

-No. Absolutely anything.

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Other common ones would be a particularly bad tackle in a rugby match

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or kids at school, if one of them was stood up and got shoved from behind,

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the activity of the head going backwards and then coming forwards again would be enough to cause it.

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-And how long does it last?

-Again, it depends on the severity of it.

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If it was a low impact, then it might just be a stiff neck for a few days,

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take some pain relief and it would correct itself.

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In a more severe case, a higher impact, like Belinda's accident,

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or in some cases worse, the injury can last for years.

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Gosh. Belinda, this was four or five months ago. How are you feeling now and how does it affect you?

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At the moment, I'm fine sat here, no problem at all.

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Cold mornings, I start to feel a bit stiff, if I've been laid in bed funny,

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I wake up a little bit sore. But at the moment, I'm OK.

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Good, I'm glad to hear it. There is actually something we can do to try and help prevent it in our cars.

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Yes, there is. I'm outside with a wreck of a car that's had a front-end shunt, the opposite,

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but there's a reason for that. We'll come to that later.

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I'm here to meet Matthew and his colleague. Would you like to introduce us?

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This is a special whiplash crash dummy called a Biorid,

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and he's used to measure the risk of having a typical injury in a rear-end crash

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where whiplash is the most common injury.

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Matthew's from the Thatcham Vehicle Research Centre.

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How should you set your head rest to make sure that you protect yourself from whiplash injury?

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The first thing is, it's not a head rest, it's a head restraint.

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It's an important safety device.

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-It's as important as the seatbelt or the airbag.

-Is it?

-It's a restraint.

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It's to stop you getting an injury. You should adjust your head restraint by raising it up

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so it's as high at least as the top of the head.

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Many head restraints have got moveable pads here, so you can move it.

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You want to be, if necessary, with the head in contact with the full front face of the head restraint.

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-That will give you protection.

-I know you're thinking, "How important can a head restraint be?"

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We've got some footage. Here we go.

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If you look at the top there, there's a head restraint that's correct,

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the one at the bottom isn't. On first viewing, there doesn't seem to be a big difference.

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But as it runs through again, look at the bottom one and the flex.

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The important thing there is the head restraint at the top

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gets in contact with the head very quickly and moves forward to meet the back of the head,

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so you get no differential movement between the head and the thorax.

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Whereas the head restraint at the bottom was so far away

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that the head bent right back and there was a huge distortion in the neck, which creates the injury.

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To be honest, in all my time of owning cars, I've never seen a head rest that opens like that,

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so if your head rest doesn't open, how do you put the back of your head in connection with the seat?

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If you can't get it closer than that, you can always normally move the seat back so it's further up,

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so you can get the seat more upright and get your head closer to the head restraint.

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If you can feel the head restraint behind your head when you're driving,

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-you're protected from whiplash.

-What percentage of cars have their head restraint correct?

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Only about 25 percent of people adjust their head restraint correctly.

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75 percent of cars out there have their head restraints in a position

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where you will receive major neck injury if you are rear-ended.

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So go out and check.

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Thank you very much, Matthew.

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Take a look at this car again. A bent steering wheel, mark on the windscreen here,

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bent in front, door panel bent. What does that say to you? It says accident.

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But to a paramedic, it tells a whole story. They can start treating just by looking at the vehicle.

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Thanks, Nick. I promise I will adjust my head rest.

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Dad Richard's having a well-earned lie-in after a busy night shift

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when he gets a wake-up call from his unborn child.

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With no time to head to hospital, Richard is going to need some help.

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Here's the 999 call that he made.

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WOMAN MOANS

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WOMAN SCREAMS

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Well, something wonderful was happening there for Richard

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and it's about to be the first birth for the call-handler. More later.

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Still to come on Real Rescues, to anyone else, it's a rusty old banger,

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but to Michael, it's his much-cherished Betsy.

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And he doesn't want to give up on her, even when she's on fire.

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-Get out the way!

-Get out the way!

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Back to the burning trawler in the middle of the Atlantic.

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The five trapped fishermen are hanging on for their lives.

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A coastguard helicopter and a second trawler are on their way

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but even if they do arrive before the burning ship goes down,

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they have a force-nine gale to contend with.

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Winching the fishermen to safety will be very difficult and very dangerous.

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'The helicopter gets the first sighting.

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'These are the actual pictures from the infra-red camera as it approaches the burning boat.

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'The heat it's generating makes it stand out like a beacon against the icy cold waters.'

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You know this is an intense fire when you can pick it up from that distance.

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And as you're gradually getting closer, all you see is a white mass.

0:21:540:21:58

And then very fine detail of the crew standing on the bow of the vessel.

0:22:000:22:06

All the heat coming from the flames is wrapping itself round the bows of the vessel

0:22:060:22:12

and you think, "God, the flames are licking around them."

0:22:120:22:15

'For the fishermen, the arrival of the helicopter has come not a moment too soon.

0:22:150:22:19

'The past hour has been torturous.'

0:22:190:22:22

We'd been sort of lying there on the deck trying to breathe, not being able to breathe,

0:22:220:22:26

and gasping for a breath of air

0:22:260:22:29

and then suddenly the fire would be sort of doused by a lump of water with the boat rolling

0:22:290:22:37

and then you'd get to breathe and there'd be steam.

0:22:370:22:40

And then suddenly the whole lot would just go up again

0:22:400:22:43

and you'd hear like a "woof!" and the flames would be over the top of your head again.

0:22:430:22:47

Never even went through my head surviving at that point. I thought it was probably all over.

0:22:470:22:53

'With time of the essence, winch man Kieran Murray wants to get down onto the deck

0:22:530:22:58

'to winch the men up as quickly as possible.'

0:22:580:23:01

We would put a high line, which is a method of getting the winch man onto the deck of the vessel,

0:23:010:23:05

so a line would be lowered to the vessel and the crew would pull it in

0:23:050:23:09

and attached to the line will be the winch man on the winch hook.

0:23:090:23:14

'Pilot Paul Bentley flies the helicopter right over the trawler.

0:23:140:23:18

'Winch operator Gary Williams lowers the line.'

0:23:180:23:20

We had a hold of the rope from the helicopter.

0:23:200:23:23

When you've got five guys on a boat which is on fire and they're fighting for their lives,

0:23:230:23:29

they're going to take a hold of that line to try and pull the guy down.

0:23:290:23:33

'Kieran starts to get winched down.

0:23:330:23:35

'His life is in the hands of his colleagues, Paul and Gary,

0:23:350:23:39

'as they manoeuvre him with the helicopter to avoid the many hazards.'

0:23:390:23:43

There was the rigging, the mast,

0:23:430:23:46

all the masts, and the boat was moving so much

0:23:460:23:50

that he was going up about three or four metres and then he was moving down three or four metres.

0:23:500:23:56

'Kieran gets to within 20 feet of the deck when the blaze intensifies.'

0:23:560:24:00

All of a sudden, the fire was fed by a burst pipe or something

0:24:000:24:05

and just became bright, bright red followed by very dark, thick acrid smoke.

0:24:050:24:11

I couldn't see the crew only 20 feet away.

0:24:110:24:14

When I looked up, I couldn't see the aircraft.

0:24:140:24:17

So you're in this limbo of not knowing where you are.

0:24:170:24:20

'From the helicopter, winch operator Gary has also lost sight of Kieran.

0:24:200:24:25

'He could be dashed against the mast. It's too risky to continue.'

0:24:250:24:30

The winch man must be brought back to the helicopter.

0:24:330:24:36

All hopes of rescue now lie with the other trawler,

0:24:360:24:39

but how on earth will they move the crew from one boat to another?

0:24:390:24:43

We'll be back with that rescue in just a few minutes.

0:24:430:24:46

I've come back outside because I want to talk you through this vehicle.

0:24:460:24:49

Damage to the front end of the vehicle. What does that tell you?

0:24:490:24:53

Damage to the windscreen. What does that tell you? Damage to the side. Get any clues yet?

0:24:530:24:58

Well, for someone like Danny here, who's stayed with us to have a chat,

0:24:580:25:01

this tells an enormous story from the moment they arrive on the scene.

0:25:010:25:05

Cos you'll look at a vehicle as you pull up, won't you?

0:25:050:25:08

Yeah. We're still in the ambulance and as we're approaching the scene,

0:25:080:25:11

we've got a good vantage point cos we're quite high up, so we can assess the vehicle for any damage

0:25:110:25:16

-before we even get out.

-Imagine you've arrived on scene now. You usually park in front.

0:25:160:25:22

-What are you seeing?

-Look at the back. There's no impact, no damage at the back,

0:25:220:25:26

so we would assume that it's not had any rear impact,

0:25:260:25:29

so the injuries you might expect to see from a rear impact are unlikely to be there.

0:25:290:25:33

As we move forward, you can see that the top of the car is undamaged.

0:25:330:25:37

There's no sign that the vehicle's rolled over,

0:25:370:25:39

so until we hear from witnesses or the driver, we assume it's not rolled over.

0:25:390:25:43

As we come up here, the driver's door's got some impact on the side,

0:25:430:25:47

-so we might look for injuries that could be caused there.

-Like what?

0:25:470:25:50

Generally you're looking at the right side of the body, so a broken leg,

0:25:500:25:55

the lower and upper part of the leg, ribs, shoulder, arm.

0:25:550:25:58

-And a hip is particularly dangerous here.

-Yeah, if it was a pelvis,

0:25:580:26:02

you can lose half of your circulatory blood volume into a fractured pelvis,

0:26:020:26:07

-so that's quite a significant injury.

-What about this impact?

0:26:070:26:10

This one has been done from the inside, cos it's slightly dented outside,

0:26:100:26:14

so that would suggest that the driver's not been wearing a seatbelt and they've been thrown forward.

0:26:140:26:20

A seatbelt would stop you short of that.

0:26:200:26:22

-Interestingly, when you come to a vehicle like this, the occupants might already be out.

-Yeah.

0:26:220:26:27

-So will this give you a clue what you ought to be looking for?

-Definitely.

0:26:270:26:31

If we saw this car, we'd want to know where the driver was

0:26:310:26:34

and we would go over and treat the driver

0:26:340:26:37

for the injuries that we would expect to see from in there.

0:26:370:26:40

We always treat for the worst and hope for the best, so until we know otherwise, we'd treat a neck injury

0:26:400:26:45

and, if the side impact was more severe,

0:26:450:26:48

we'd treat it as a possible fractured pelvis.

0:26:480:26:50

Which is extraordinarily dangerous for potential blood loss,

0:26:500:26:54

-which can't necessarily be seen on the outside.

-No.

0:26:540:26:56

-You call this mechanism of...

-Mechanism of injury.

0:26:560:27:00

-And it's almost like a detective thing that you can do.

-Yes, it is.

0:27:000:27:03

History makes up a massive part of our assessment of any patient.

0:27:030:27:07

-Not least because the patient could be unconscious.

-Absolutely.

0:27:070:27:11

The treatment and assessment of the patient is the biggest thing,

0:27:110:27:15

but the history, before you've even stopped the ambulance, tells us a big part of the story

0:27:150:27:20

-as to what we need to look for.

-Lovely. Thank you. Fascinating stuff.

0:27:200:27:23

Let's go back to those terrifying scenes in the North Atlantic.

0:27:260:27:29

A fishing boat is on fire. The crew are stranded onboard

0:27:290:27:32

and the coastguard helicopter can't winch them to safety.

0:27:320:27:35

Another trawler is heading their way, but how are they going to be able to help?

0:27:350:27:39

'Trapped at the front by the flames and choking smoke,

0:27:410:27:44

'Skipper Ellis and his crew wait for the arrival of fishing vessel the Mispar.

0:27:440:27:48

'Then they hear the ominous sound of their boat's engines shutting down.'

0:27:480:27:53

That's when I started wondering if the fire was in the engine room.

0:27:530:27:56

If the engine room flooded, that would be it, the boat would be going down for definite.

0:27:560:28:01

So we had to prepare for the worst.

0:28:010:28:03

So we had ourselves tied together to basically help us to be seen

0:28:030:28:09

or to float us up to the surface a bit better.

0:28:090:28:12

'Up above in the helicopter, winch man Kieran hopes the men don't end up in the water.'

0:28:120:28:17

We're talking about the Atlantic on a dark January night.

0:28:170:28:20

Not a place you want to be without a survival suit.

0:28:200:28:22

'Just when it looks like they've run out of options, the Mispar arrives.

0:28:220:28:27

'Its Skipper, David Robertson, has got here as fast as he could

0:28:270:28:31

'after hearing that his friend, Ellis, was in danger.'

0:28:310:28:34

When we saw the lights of David coming,

0:28:340:28:37

it was just, erm, it was a sigh of relief to see that.

0:28:370:28:42

The Mispar could get a life raft and pass it to the Be Ready

0:28:420:28:47

and that way, at least the crew from the Be Ready would get into a life raft,

0:28:470:28:51

we would then continue with the rescue from the life raft.

0:28:510:28:55

'A rope needs to be thrown from the Mispar to Ellis and his crew.

0:28:550:28:59

'To get close enough in these turbulent conditions,

0:28:590:29:02

'David will have to pull off a dangerous manoeuvre.'

0:29:020:29:05

He had to put the bow of his ship right up into the wind to try and come up alongside us.

0:29:050:29:11

If he caught the wind the wrong way,

0:29:110:29:15

the wind could start pushing him onto us.

0:29:150:29:17

One of the dangers for the Mispar was that she would literally crash into the Be Ready.

0:29:180:29:23

If that happens, you've got one sinking vessel and one burning vessel.

0:29:230:29:26

You try throwing a rope into a force-nine gale.

0:29:260:29:30

It's only going to go a few feet and then it's going to go with the wind,

0:29:300:29:33

so they had to get so close to basically pass it to us.

0:29:330:29:38

A superb piece of seamanship from David.

0:29:380:29:41

Risking not just his own vessel but his own crew

0:29:410:29:44

just to get this line to the other crew.

0:29:440:29:48

'They've done it. Ellis has got the rope.'

0:29:480:29:51

It takes a lot of skill and a lot of experience over the years

0:29:510:29:55

-to get as close as what they did.

-Four of us in the helicopter crew were all cheering.

0:29:550:30:01

'With remarkable accuracy,

0:30:010:30:04

'David has brought these two large boats within inches of each other

0:30:040:30:08

'on a rough, rolling sea.

0:30:080:30:11

'The Be Ready's crew have their lifeline.

0:30:110:30:14

'David can now move the Mispar away,

0:30:160:30:18

'allowing the life raft to be reeled in.'

0:30:180:30:21

You're now wishing the crew to get into this life raft as quickly as possible

0:30:210:30:25

because you're thinking that this vessel is going to blow up.

0:30:250:30:28

I think that was all of our fears, that this is going to go in a big bang.

0:30:280:30:32

'Ellis and his men finally have the chance to get off this burning boat.

0:30:320:30:36

'They waste no time jumping for the life raft.'

0:30:360:30:39

After everything that had happened, coming down the ladder was a walk in the park

0:30:390:30:44

compared to what had happened before.

0:30:440:30:47

They got down this rope ladder and into the life raft, all five of them,

0:30:500:30:53

and then they cut themselves free and, again, that was great to see,

0:30:530:30:57

because now you know you've got them in a life raft, clearing away from the vessel,

0:30:570:31:02

and it meant that our rescue now would be much easier.

0:31:020:31:05

'After only being able to watch on, the helicopter team can now directly help the men.'

0:31:050:31:10

I'm now winched out of the aircraft into the water

0:31:100:31:14

and then trawled, so my feet are in the water,

0:31:140:31:19

to try and keep me in the right direction towards the life raft.

0:31:190:31:22

Not an easy job in sea conditions and wind conditions like that.

0:31:220:31:25

But Captain Paul Bentley and Gary Williams, the winch operator, did a tremendous job

0:31:250:31:30

to winch me into the life raft.

0:31:300:31:32

'In the driving sleet and snow, Kieran stays in the life raft as he sends the men up two at a time.'

0:31:320:31:38

As quickly as we could, they were winched from the life raft, with myself remaining till last.

0:31:380:31:42

'Ellis comes up with Kieran. The ordeal is over.'

0:31:460:31:50

I remember looking and seeing the boat still burning and going away from it and then thinking,

0:31:540:31:58

"What has happened here? Is this a dream?"

0:31:580:32:02

I was thinking it must be a dream or something.

0:32:020:32:04

'That this nightmare scenario ended without loss of life

0:32:050:32:09

'is down to the combined heroism and skill of a helicopter crew

0:32:090:32:12

'and in particular the Mispar's skipper, David Robertson,

0:32:120:32:16

'who cut away his valuable fishing nets to get there faster

0:32:160:32:19

'before risking his own boat to pass the lifesaving rope.'

0:32:190:32:24

If he hadn't done that, we might not have been here today.

0:32:240:32:29

'Helicopter Oscar Charlie returns to Shetland,

0:32:290:32:32

'taking all five fishermen back to their homes and families.'

0:32:320:32:37

Once we were back in the aircraft, we did have a little laugh,

0:32:370:32:40

because we were all streaked in blackness and the smell of burning

0:32:400:32:44

and this is the end of January and in two days' time,

0:32:440:32:47

there was going to be a local festival called Up Helly Aa

0:32:470:32:49

where they burn flaming torches and the impression was they were laughing

0:32:490:32:53

because they've had their early Up Helly Aa with the burning vessel and they've survived it.

0:32:530:32:58

Once the fire eventually burnt itself out,

0:33:000:33:03

the Be Ready was towed back to shore by the coastguard,

0:33:030:33:06

and you can see in these pictures the devastating damage caused by that huge fire.

0:33:060:33:11

Amazingly, the fish onboard could still be sold.

0:33:110:33:14

It was protected by its ice packing.

0:33:140:33:17

The captain of the Mispar was commended in the investigation that followed. Here's what was said.

0:33:170:33:23

"The Mispar's skipper acted in the highest traditions of the sea.

0:33:230:33:28

"To approach another vessel in those conditions requires not only the highest level of skill

0:33:280:33:33

"but also courage and determination and confidence.

0:33:330:33:38

"The captain and his crew all accepted the risk to their lives

0:33:380:33:42

"and it's through their efforts that the crew of the Be Ready were rescued."

0:33:420:33:47

Absolutely extraordinary pictures, I think you'll agree.

0:33:470:33:50

An extraordinary effort by those seamen and what a life they live.

0:33:500:33:56

Now, from saving lives to bringing a new one into the world.

0:33:560:34:00

Earlier we heard Richard call 999.

0:34:000:34:02

His wife has gone into labour on the landing at home.

0:34:020:34:05

Call handler Sarah Bamber is talking him through it.

0:34:050:34:08

The baby's well on its way so Richard needs both hands free.

0:34:080:34:11

Luckily, mother-in-law Jackie is there to relay Sarah's instructions.

0:34:110:34:17

I am pushing.

0:34:500:34:52

MUFFLED PANTING

0:35:060:35:09

And here she is, lovely little Maisy with a lovely smile for us. Thank you very much.

0:36:370:36:42

-Congratulations to both of you two.

-Thank you.

0:36:420:36:44

Who did the most hard work, you Richard or Emma?

0:36:440:36:47

-Well, I have to say Emma.

-But you felt like a bit of a hero, I bet, that day.

0:36:470:36:52

-Man of the moment, I've been called.

-Really?

-Yes.

0:36:520:36:55

Were you a bit alarmed? Were you scared? How was it?

0:36:550:36:58

I was scared when I was told I'd have to deliver the baby

0:36:580:37:01

but then everything just takes over and you follow the instructions.

0:37:010:37:05

-You said you felt like you were watching yourself on telly.

-Like I was watching somebody else.

0:37:050:37:09

-A bit different for you. You weren't expecting to have the baby on the landing.

-No, definitely not.

0:37:090:37:16

I was definitely hoping to get to hospital.

0:37:160:37:18

-And you put your makeup on beforehand.

-I did, just in case.

0:37:180:37:22

You never know who's going to turn up.

0:37:220:37:26

You wanted to go to the hospital because there's a new ward.

0:37:260:37:29

A new maternity unit at the North Staffs Hospital, yeah,

0:37:290:37:32

so I was a bit gutted afterwards when they said, "No, you don't need to go to hospital."

0:37:320:37:36

Were you frightened at all or not, when you knew she was going to be delivered there?

0:37:360:37:40

It honestly never dawned on me that we weren't going to get to hospital

0:37:400:37:44

until Richard laid me on the bathroom floor.

0:37:440:37:47

-And by then...

-You were more apologetic than anything else.

0:37:470:37:51

-Yeah, I was really sorry.

-She was saying sorry all the time.

0:37:510:37:54

-What were you thinking, Richard?

-I was just telling her not to apologise and push.

0:37:540:37:58

Well, the person on the other end of the phone, Sarah, is here.

0:37:590:38:02

-You were pretty relieved when you heard that cry.

-Definitely. It was nice to hear her crying.

0:38:020:38:07

It was your first call like this, wasn't it?

0:38:070:38:11

Yeah, it's the first baby I've delivered.

0:38:110:38:13

Take us through it. What were you feeling?

0:38:130:38:16

When I was told that they could see the head,

0:38:160:38:19

my stomach was sort of flipping and I was quite nervous

0:38:190:38:23

but I was excited, as well, cos I wanted to go through it all with them.

0:38:230:38:26

Normally they get there before we have time to deliver it,

0:38:260:38:30

so it was nice when I did go through it, but the nerves were definitely going.

0:38:300:38:34

And they gave you a round of applause here, I understand?

0:38:340:38:37

Yeah, when I came off the phone, everyone was cheering

0:38:370:38:39

-and I got a nice round of applause.

-I want to show you something.

0:38:390:38:43

In the Scottish Ambulance Service, they have a tradition. When somebody delivers a baby,

0:38:430:38:47

-they give them one of these.

-Oh, OK.

-And they've sent it for you.

0:38:470:38:51

-Aww, thank you!

-So there's a little stork delivering the baby and that's for you.

0:38:510:38:55

-Aww, thank you very much!

-Will you wear it?

-Yeah.

0:38:550:38:57

Richard, any plans for a new career?

0:38:570:39:00

-Freelance midwife.

-THEY LAUGH

0:39:000:39:03

It's not something you'd consider, is it?

0:39:030:39:05

No. Although the feeling's brilliant delivering my child, I don't think I could do it for anybody else.

0:39:050:39:11

-She's a bit of a daddy's girl, isn't she?

-She is, yes.

0:39:110:39:14

-She comes to me quite easily.

-Will you tell her in the future what happened?

0:39:140:39:17

-Yes, there'll be a big smile on her face.

-Thanks very much. Thanks, Maisy.

0:39:170:39:22

Very cute, but I'm pleased I didn't have to deliver any of my three.

0:39:220:39:25

Now, Michael's pride and joy isn't exactly a classic car from the golden era of motoring.

0:39:250:39:30

You'd be hard pushed to give it away. But he loves it.

0:39:300:39:33

So much so, he can't bear to be parted from it, even when it catches fire.

0:39:330:39:37

'Green watch are heading out to a fire in a city street.

0:39:390:39:43

'They've received more than one call, so the crew manager is already preparing for a serious fire

0:39:430:39:48

'in a potentially tricky place to work.'

0:39:480:39:50

We're off to a car fire outside a public house in Bedford Place.

0:39:500:39:56

It's a narrow street. We've had numerous calls,

0:39:560:40:00

so normally that's confirmation that it's a growing incident.

0:40:000:40:04

'It's not difficult to find. They follow the smoke.'

0:40:040:40:08

Next on the right.

0:40:080:40:10

Looks well alight. Plenty of smoke in the area.

0:40:100:40:14

'They turn the corner to see thick smoke pouring from the bonnet of a small car.'

0:40:140:40:18

-Looks like the yellow one.

-'The owner is looking on, stunned,

0:40:180:40:21

'and needs persuading to move away from his burning vehicle.'

0:40:210:40:24

-Get out of the way.

-Get out of the way.

0:40:240:40:27

Get out of the way!

0:40:270:40:30

'As the crew prepare to start dousing the car with water,

0:40:300:40:33

'AJ's first thought is getting the man away from the fumes.'

0:40:330:40:38

Come out of the way, sir. Come out of the way.

0:40:380:40:41

Don't breathe that smoke in.

0:40:410:40:43

'The fire crew will soon put this fire out.

0:40:430:40:46

'They just need to get access underneath the bonnet.'

0:40:460:40:49

-Is the car unlocked?

-Yeah.

0:40:490:40:51

OK. Where's the bonnet pull?

0:40:510:40:54

'They blasted the fire with water and it's doing the job.

0:40:550:41:00

'The car's not looking too good, though.

0:41:010:41:03

'And owner Michael's looking pretty upset.'

0:41:030:41:07

It was smoking quite a lot so I just thought, "Get out of the way."

0:41:080:41:12

Yeah, a bit gutted, really. It's been with me a long time, Betsy.

0:41:120:41:16

'Michael had just parked up to meet a friend for lunch after a game of golf when he noticed the smoke.

0:41:160:41:22

'This car might not be the newest or most stylish,

0:41:220:41:25

'but to Michael, she's Betsy, and has a place close to his heart.'

0:41:250:41:29

It's obviously the owner's pride and joy and he's quite anxious

0:41:290:41:32

about his car. But when it's your only form of transport,

0:41:320:41:36

I guess it's quite concerning.

0:41:360:41:39

'At last, they can get the bonnet open.

0:41:400:41:43

'The fire's almost out, but it seems Betsy will never be quite the same again.

0:41:430:41:48

'Betsy the Peugeot has been ferrying him back and forth to Reading and Basingstoke for many years.

0:41:490:41:54

'The damage is extensive and Michael's trying to come to terms with Betsy's demise.'

0:41:540:42:01

That's a good old vehicle there.

0:42:010:42:03

Diesel, nice economical...

0:42:030:42:06

That's the end of that, isn't it?

0:42:060:42:09

-It does look like it.

-Yeah, I'd say so.

-Unless you know any miracle workers.

-No.

0:42:090:42:14

If I had a magic wand...

0:42:140:42:16

'All Michael can do is organise recovery,

0:42:190:42:22

'unload his golf clubs and start to mourn his reliable Betsy.

0:42:220:42:26

Four years!

0:42:260:42:29

Four years! I am gutted, mate! It's been a good car!

0:42:290:42:32

What can I say?

0:42:320:42:35

'The fire-fighters have done their job

0:42:360:42:39

'but the cause will remain a mystery.'

0:42:390:42:41

Could be electrical. Very strange.

0:42:410:42:44

Who knows? Who knows?

0:42:440:42:47

I'm no expert.

0:42:470:42:49

We put them out.

0:42:490:42:51

Just an update. The lady who fell of a horse yesterday, Helimed's arrived

0:42:530:42:57

so she'll be in hospital very soon. They've been very busy today

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-so we haven't bothered them too much, cos we're the least important thing here.

-We are. More Real Rescues soon.

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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.

There's a spectacular rescue from a blazing trawler and a baby that wouldn't wait and an expectant father makes an urgent 999 call for help.