Episode 6 Real Rescues


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Episode 6

Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin follow the work of the emergency services. A coastguard helicopter team rescues a walker who has fallen a hundred feet down a huge cliff.


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Today, the 999 call taken desperately trying to help a man

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who's cornered by fire in his flat.

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The line goes dead. He's jumped out of a fourth-floor window.

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Only brambles are holding a man onto a cliff 500 feet up.

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I'll be speaking to the crew of Coastguard Rescue 106

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about one of their most demanding rescues.

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"Can you confirm you do require them down there?"

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Hello and welcome to Real Rescues.

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We're in South Western Ambulance control.

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The people behind me are taking 999 calls.

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They're reacting to all manner of emergencies,

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dispatching crews and saving lives.

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It's a 24-hour-a-day operation where the drama never stops.

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And it's been really busy since I've been here today.

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I want to talk to Sarah about a call she took a couple of days ago.

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-She's on the dispatch desk. Hi, there, Sarah.

-Hi.

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A little girl was having great fun at a gymkhana on her pony

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until something bad happened. What happened?

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She was going along, and apparently she fell off the pony,

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rolled over. The pony she went into then kicked her in the stomach

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and left a nasty horseshoe print actually on her stomach.

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And she was diagnosed with...

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She had liver damage,

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damage to her bowel,

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-and also a query ruptured spleen.

-Oh, gosh. But the last you heard,

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-she was sitting up in hospital and smiling.

-That's right.

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Thank goodness for that! Thank you. Nick.

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Now a dramatic and dangerous rescue 500 feet up a precarious cliff face.

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This is Golden Cap near Lyme Regis in Dorset.

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It's a situation with risks for everybody -

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the victim and the helicopter rescue team,

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and demands inch-perfect precision. Louise met the crew involved.

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This is home to Coastguard Rescue 106.

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We've got aircraft captain here, Darren Manser.

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We've also got winch-operator Tony Campbell

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and Buck Rogers, who is the winch man,

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and, crucially, a paramedic as well.

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What we're about to see is a rescue on a high cliff,

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one of the highest here on the south coast.

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Buck, tell us about conditions when you got there.

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Yeah. We were called out late afternoon,

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in failing light conditions,

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to a chap who'd fallen approximately 100 feet

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down a cliff called Golden Cap just to the west of here.

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On arrival, it was obvious that he was only being held in place

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by the brambles that he'd fallen into,

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and that he was in a pretty precarious sort of situation, really.

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On a really steep gradient, as well.

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Yeah. That part of that cliff is around about sort of 60 degrees.

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OK. The reason we're able to see pictures of this rescue

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is because the helicopter has a special camera.

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It's called a FLIR, or forward-looking infrared.

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HELICOPTER ROTORS ROAR

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These dark figures on the cliff face are Buck and the casualty.

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Buck's been lowered to a point 500 feet above sea level.

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He's now detached from the winch wire,

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and fighting to save a man's life in the most inhospitable conditions.

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The 600-foot Golden Cap is the highest point on the south coast.

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The man has fallen from the top straight down, almost 100 feet.

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He has terrible injuries.

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As well as training the thermal-imaging camera on Buck,

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the helicopter crew have lit the area with a spotlight

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and keep communicating with him via their radio.

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Are you happy with the light that you've got?

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Yeah. If you can keep that on me,

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and if you can keep two strops ready to go, in case he deteriorates.

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-Ready.

-OK. Ready to go.

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He's in a bit of a state, this bloke.

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There's no way we can stretcher this,

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-from where he is.

-I'm sure Buck will let us know.

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If it hadn't been for a passing dog walker,

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the man may never have been found.

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The helicopter was first on the scene.

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It's a difficult spot to reach by car,

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but, at the cliff top, the local coastguard-rescue team

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is arriving. This rescue is going to take precise choreography

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between the air crew, Buck and the cliff top.

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The volunteers radio in from the ground for their instructions.

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-106. Go ahead.

-Is your winch man going to take him up

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on the helicopter, or are we going over? Over.

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106. At the moment we're just waiting for some feedback

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from the winch man. Our assessment of it from the aircraft

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would be that we would probably double-strop the casualty,

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lift him to the aircraft. However, if you could set yourselves up

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a few yards to the east of where the casualty is,

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that would be a good place to go. Bit further.

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-Stop there. That's it.

-Thanks.

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It's not long before Buck confirms he needs help moving the man.

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Buck, 106. Go ahead.

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Any word on when the cliff-rescue team are likely to get down here?

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Can you confirm you do require them down there?

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I just want a bit of a hand to make sure we've got everything sorted.

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Buck, cliff team is on the top of the cliff.

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They reckon about another 15 minutes before they can get down to you.

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Copy.

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Buck has a very difficult job on his hands.

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The man is very seriously hurt, and is facing down the cliff.

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The ground is unstable as well as steep.

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What's really clear, looking at those pictures,

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is that you're in a really tricky situation.

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Tell us about his injuries. How badly had he been hurt?

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He'd fallen a long way, and certainly when I first got to him,

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-he was incredibly scratched, believe it or not...

-Right.

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..with a very real possibility of damage to his spine and neck.

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-He'd actually broken both of his arms, as well.

-Oh, gosh.

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And all the time you're on this gradient, but it's not just that.

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-You were beginning to slip down.

-Yeah. As I'm working around him

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and with him, what's happening is, the ground was getting trodden down,

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and so we're removing the net that's holding us in place.

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And I know he had his head down, so you had to get him back up again.

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Let's just have a little look how you actually managed to do that.

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Bit by bit, Buck manages to pull the man upright.

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Do you think you could send me down the KED board? The KED board?

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Buck's asked for the KED,

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a special device that straps to the casualty's back

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to protect the spine from further injury.

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If you want to start moving forward...

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OK. Winching now.

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I'm going to stay at this height.

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OK. I'm happy with you at this height.

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Winch-operator Tony Campbell directs captain Darren Manser

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to manoeuvre the helicopter very precisely

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over the casualty's position.

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Forward six and right. Forward six only. Forward five.

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From a height of 150 feet,

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Tony winches down the KED right into Buck's arms.

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Contact.

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Steady. Steady. Left one.

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Empty hook. Winching in.

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While Buck starts to fit the KED, volunteers at the top of the cliff

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are finishing setting up their equipment.

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They're almost ready to send someone down to help.

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Working well down there, is Buck.

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Very well. Pretty difficult getting him into a KED on your own.

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The cliff man is now going over the cliff. Over.

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-He's quite sprightly, isn't he?

-Yep.

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The cliff man makes short work of getting down to them.

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Buck's been with the injured man for almost an hour on the steep slope.

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He's now ready for the airlift.

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Do you want to prepare the stretcher for me and the casualty

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with the back support on?

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The intention is to use the highline to stop any spin. Over.

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So at this stage you've been working on the casualty for about an hour

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on that steep cliff. How are you doing?

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At that stage of the game, he's to all intents and purposes

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about as packaged as I can get him in that environment,

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and we're sort of getting ready now to be winched up to the aircraft.

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Tony, from your point of view as a winch operator,

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they're not out of danger yet.

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One of the big problems we have on cliff rescues,

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especially when you're winching somebody out on a stretcher

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or a hypothermic lift is that you get a lot of spin on it, as well.

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We actually had to put a highline down

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to the coastguard on the cliff, or to Buck and the coastguard.

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The coastguard managed the end of the highline, the piece of rope,

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while we winched Buck up, which took away any chance of spin.

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Let's see how it works, shall we?

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They've delivered the highline successfully.

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Now they stay hovering above for Tony to winch down the hook.

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OK. Winching out.

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OK, Buck. Got the hook in. You're now to clear to start using that

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once you give the slack.

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We're just descending, Buck, so it's less flight for you.

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Captain Manser steadily lowers the aircraft to 40 feet.

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Once we're down at a safe height, we'll then move right three.

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Tony simultaneously winches in to take up the slack on the wire.

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OK. And steady. Steady. Back and right two.

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Back and right one. Winching in. We're clear.

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They're in the air, and there's no spinning. The highline is working.

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They safely get into the helicopter.

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Captain Manser heads straight for Dorchester Hospital.

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The man's injuries are life-threatening.

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Within minutes, Rescue 106 will get him to the doctors

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for the surgery he so vitally needs.

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So, he was on his way to hospital then,

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but as aircraft captain, it was quite a tricky rescue, wasn't it?

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It's dark. You're very close to the cliff. How do you stay safe?

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We don't have sensors on the aircraft

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to keep us clear of the cliff, so really it's a team effort

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and we're all looking out to maintain that clearance

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from the cliff side, and at times during that rescue,

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we were within three or four feet of the cliff edge.

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We have lights, and we do our best to illuminate the area.

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I'm also looking at references to hold as stable a hover as I can

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just to allow Tony to extract Buck and the casualty to safety.

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But it's the Mark 1 Eyeball, I'm afraid.

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We're just looking and maintaining our clearance visually.

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-Thank you for showing me around.

-Pleasure.

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A remarkable rescue - 500 feet up and slipping down inch by inch

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the whole time. Later on we'll hear from the injured man himself.

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Now, a choice none of us would ever want to make.

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You're trapped by a raging fire, and your only escape

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is jumping 40 feet from a fourth-floor window.

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That's the dilemma facing Sam Smith when a fire broke out in his flat.

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He was lying in bed, and suddenly smelled smoke.

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He opened his bedroom door and was knocked back by the heat.

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This is his call to the emergency services.

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HE COUGHS

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HE GASPS AND COUGHS

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HE CHOKES AND COUGHS

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Argh!

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Hello?

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The people you could hear on the phone there were Sam and Theresa,

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who are next to me here, I'm very pleased to say.

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Um, where had you gone?

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I jumped out of the four-storey building

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to my next-door neighbour's garden, because I had no other choice.

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That's extraordinary. And yet you're here, looking...

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-Yeah! Still standing.

-So what happened to you when you landed?

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When I landed I bent my knees and rolled.

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I don't know what made me do that but I knew I had to do that,

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otherwise I could break my legs and break my back even more,

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and I could be in a wheelchair or not even be here.

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I'm extremely lucky to be here, let alone walking.

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One minute you're chatting away to him and the next he's gone.

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-What was going through your mind?

-Worst-case scenario,

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I was worried that he'd collapsed on the floor in the bedroom.

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I didn't know whether he'd gone somewhere else in the property,

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whether he'd left his phone in the room,

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whether he was collapsed on the floor and couldn't respond to me,

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so I was panicking on his behalf, really,

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-cos I didn't know where he was.

-You didn't sound panicking.

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You sounded very calm. But then he spoke again.

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He did. I kept trying to rouse him. Like I said,

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I didn't know where he was, so I was saying, "Hello, caller."

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-"Can you hear me? What's your name?"

-Let's just have a look,

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whilst you're telling us this. This is the jump that he made.

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And it's extraordinary, when you look at it,

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-that he managed it. Did you jump with the phone in your hand?

-Yeah.

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I dropped the phone halfway through the flight.

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How come you managed to get back on the phone, then?

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When I landed, I saw the glimmer of light

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in the hedges, and I thought it was my phone,

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so I went over and grabbed it, and it was.

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-You must have been glad to hear him.

-Extremely pleased to hear him!

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I was a bit shocked to hear that he'd jumped,

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but I was extremely pleased to hear he was OK.

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Well, we know Sam was safe, but the story's far from over.

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HE GASPS AND PANTS

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HE SOBS OTHER VOICES, INDISTINCT

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MAN SPEAKING

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It turns out at this point that Sam's sister Laura, who's here,

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is still inside the flat when the first firefighters arrive at the scene.

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When did you first know there was a problem?

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As soon as I woke up.

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-By which stage the fire had taken hold in the whole house.

-Yeah.

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-Why were you so late waking up?

-I had a few drinks before, so...

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-The night before?

-Yes.

-Right. OK.

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What sort of state was the place in when you woke up?

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The fire brigade was already there.

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I'm assuming Simon had already jumped out,

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and my door was on fire, so the whole place was lit apart from my room.

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So what do you do? You realise the door to your room is on fire.

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-What do you do then?

-I checked my window. I saw the fire brigade.

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I opened the window for some air, but I got knocked back, so I...

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-By what?

-The flames.

-Were flames coming from below the window?

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-Underneath, yeah.

-What did you do then?

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I heard the firemen, so I got back into my bed and waited there.

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-Under the duvet?

-Yes.

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Right. Let's check with John, who was one of the firemen at the scene.

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Hiding under the duvet as a way to deal with a fire?

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It's different, but... The fact that she closed the door -

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-That's the key thing, isn't it?

-Yeah.

-So the door's closed.

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She opened the window but got knocked back. Is that good or bad?

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She did the right thing. We tell people to close the door,

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open a window. Unfortunately for Laura, there was a fire below her.

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-Were you in the room by then?

-We'd got to the top of the stairs

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-and we could hear her.

-What did you hear?

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She was calling out to us. We couldn't see her,

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but we could hear her behind the door.

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Did you think they were going to make it to you?

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-Um, yeah.

-You were convinced?

-I could hear them outside, yeah.

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So why is there a delay? You're outside,

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but not coming in. You know she's there.

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We knew the hot gases and flames, as soon as we opened the door,

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would enter the room she was in, so we were preparing ourselves to make a quick exit with her.

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-So when you went in...

-Everything goes in with us, yeah.

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-So you've only got a short time to get her out.

-Yeah.

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What was it like when they appeared through the door?

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Everything just went dark. As soon as I heard that bang,

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and the door opened, everything went pitch black.

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-Because of the smoke?

-Because of the fire, as well.

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-Could you see...

-I couldn't see a thing.

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So what happened when you grabbed hold of a fireman or vice versa?

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Yeah, yeah. He just grabbed me and ran.

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-Hung on for grim life, didn't you?

-Yeah!

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I understand that at your stage your suits were so hot...

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She was calling out to us, "You're hot, you're hot!"

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-This is the outer suit.

-They're hot, yeah.

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How bad was this fire, by comparison with others you've seen?

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It was very severe. For both of them to come out, they're extremely lucky.

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-Really? Would he have made it if he hadn't jumped?

-No.

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-He wouldn't have?

-I very much doubt he'd have made it.

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-And how much longer did she have before...

-One minute.

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-A minute?

-Yeah. The door to the room was burning through.

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-Wow! Just out of interest, did you have a smoke alarm?

-Yeah.

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-Did it work?

-No.

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There's a lesson for you, isn't it?

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I'm really amazed. Can I just point out...

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I know we're running out of time on this, but look at his belt here.

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Bought by his dad. I'm not at all surprised.

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That is amazing. What a fantastic and extraordinary story!

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What an amazing job you do! Thank you for coming in and chatting.

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Gosh, terrifying! Now, what sort of activities can distract a driver

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at the wheel? Changing a CD, putting on your lipstick,

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using your mobile phone - but what about eating a boiled sweet?

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It seems that could have near-fatal consequences too.

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"31 eastbound. A lorry off the road."

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-"Over."

-Yeah. We're on the northbound, George.

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It's the morning rush hour when the call comes through

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about an accident on a busy main road

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which cuts through the middle of the New Forest.

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SIREN WAILS

0:19:270:19:29

Traffic cop Ken Venning has to fight his way through the traffic

0:19:290:19:33

to get there. A lot of people are going to be late for work this morning.

0:19:330:19:37

Just coming up to the incident now on our left.

0:19:370:19:40

You'll see fire and rescue have arrived.

0:19:400:19:43

Got the lorry, which is safely off the carriageway.

0:19:430:19:45

Try and get a closer look.

0:19:450:19:48

The fully loaded lorry was en route from Cornwall to Southampton

0:19:500:19:54

when it careered across two lanes of traffic,

0:19:540:19:57

took out the fence and ploughed into the undergrowth.

0:19:570:20:00

However, somehow the artic stayed upright.

0:20:000:20:03

Inside the ambulance is the driver, Lewis.

0:20:070:20:10

He's had a lucky escape.

0:20:100:20:13

It turns out his sweet tooth was to blame.

0:20:130:20:16

Choked on a sweet, to be honest.

0:20:160:20:18

Once I choked, I sort of blotted out for a minute or two.

0:20:180:20:23

That was all that happened. Really choked.

0:20:230:20:25

With no-one at the controls,

0:20:250:20:27

the tracks show how the lorry came off the road

0:20:270:20:30

and just kept on going.

0:20:300:20:32

By sheer chance it happened as the carriageway curved to the right,

0:20:320:20:36

sending the artic off the road.

0:20:360:20:39

At any other place, it could have ploughed into oncoming traffic.

0:20:390:20:42

I remember sliding, and then a sudden halt.

0:20:420:20:46

That's probably when the sweet jumped out.

0:20:460:20:48

Embarrassing, isn't it, really?

0:20:480:20:51

It's left Lewis with a red face and a few grazes,

0:20:510:20:53

but no serious injuries.

0:20:530:20:55

The only thing, just a scratch on the elbow.

0:20:550:20:58

I think it's only a scratch. I can't see it.

0:20:580:21:01

Probably some rough bit on the door, probably.

0:21:010:21:04

It was all padded out fairly well. Seat belt's on.

0:21:040:21:07

You can't go wrong without that seat belt, really.

0:21:070:21:10

It's little short of a miracle that no other vehicles were involved.

0:21:100:21:15

PC Duncan Innes now has to organise retrieving the lorry

0:21:150:21:19

and its load.

0:21:190:21:22

She's going to get someone to come out and we'll recover the product

0:21:220:21:25

sooner rather than later, then we'll try and get recovered

0:21:250:21:29

-during the quiet hours.

-Sure. yeah.

0:21:290:21:31

The next job is to prevent any further accidents.

0:21:330:21:36

The New Forest is home to wild ponies and cattle.

0:21:360:21:39

The fence is down and there's a risk the animals could stray onto the road.

0:21:390:21:44

Over 100 metres of fence has gone.

0:21:440:21:45

Representatives of the Highways Agency are on the scene

0:21:450:21:49

and get the repair work underway immediately.

0:21:490:21:52

How you doing? You all right? What's your name?

0:21:520:21:55

-Ashley.

-Ken.

0:21:550:21:56

He's come from lane two. Gentleman's driving along.

0:21:560:22:00

He's coughed on his cough sweet. He's managed to avoid any traffic

0:22:000:22:03

in lane one. Our concern is at the moment

0:22:030:22:06

in relation to the wildlife in the forest and making this more secure.

0:22:060:22:10

Recovery's going to be this afternoon, this evening.

0:22:100:22:13

Most important thing is making this area safe and sterile

0:22:130:22:16

to prevent anything leaving onto the carriageway, causing more problems.

0:22:160:22:20

If you let us know what will be happening, that will be wonderful.

0:22:200:22:24

But there's an additional problem.

0:22:240:22:26

As a result of the accident, the fuel tank on the articulated lorry,

0:22:260:22:30

or cab unit, has ruptured. It's got two tanks. Only one's been ruptured.

0:22:300:22:35

Approximately 200 litres of diesel have gone into the ground.

0:22:350:22:39

That's an environmental issue we are concerned about.

0:22:390:22:42

It's a lot of fuel, but firefighters are satisfied

0:22:420:22:45

that there's no danger of it polluting the local water supply.

0:22:450:22:48

There's no fuel left in the tank.

0:22:480:22:50

The trailer-unit tank is safe. That hasn't been punctured.

0:22:500:22:54

But there's nothing we can do about diesel

0:22:540:22:57

that's run into the forest. That's already soaked into the ground.

0:22:570:23:00

It's not near any water courses, so we're not too concerned.

0:23:000:23:04

The driver is going to have a thorough examination at hospital.

0:23:070:23:11

On the road, the morning traffic's flowing freely again.

0:23:110:23:14

It's just down to the recovery guys to work out how to move the lorry

0:23:140:23:18

out of the forest. However, the disruption caused by this accident

0:23:180:23:22

is not over yet. Just think what would have happened

0:23:220:23:26

if the bend in the road had turned the other way.

0:23:260:23:28

I'll demonstrate. Imagine this car is oncoming traffic,

0:23:280:23:31

and I'm the lorry. So we're going round a right-hand bend,

0:23:310:23:34

and as we're going round the bend, I lose control,

0:23:340:23:37

and I run off over here out into the countryside.

0:23:370:23:40

But if he'd been going the other way when he lost attention

0:23:400:23:43

and he loses control... Bang! Straight into the oncoming traffic.

0:23:430:23:47

It was just a matter of pure luck that no-one was hurt.

0:23:470:23:50

Brilliant demonstration, Nick. Still to come on Real Rescues,

0:23:500:23:54

we meet the man who fell 100 feet down this crumbling cliff face,

0:23:540:23:57

and find out why a nose with five million receptions,

0:23:570:24:01

a bit like this one,

0:24:010:24:02

can't match up to the 220 million on this medical-alert dog

0:24:020:24:06

that can detect cancer.

0:24:060:24:09

I can sniff out a good story, though, can't I?

0:24:110:24:14

Yes. A rescue that starts in the early morning. Here's one.

0:24:140:24:18

Mel is asleep in bed, unaware that she's slipping into a life-threatening coma.

0:24:180:24:22

But her dog realises there's something wrong,

0:24:220:24:24

and manages to raise the alarm.

0:24:240:24:27

It's seven in the morning, and in a downstairs bedroom

0:24:270:24:30

at a house in Berkshire, a woman disabled by osteoporosis

0:24:300:24:34

is in danger of falling into a diabetic coma.

0:24:340:24:37

Two ambulance crews are desperately trying to bring her round.

0:24:370:24:41

Paramedic John Pocock has just arrived,

0:24:420:24:46

and is struggling to find a vein in Mel's hand

0:24:460:24:48

to give her lifesaving glucose.

0:24:480:24:51

-Have you had a go in here?

-Yeah. I don't think I was anywhere near.

0:24:510:24:55

Mel's husband John is also trying to rouse her.

0:24:550:24:58

Mel!

0:24:580:25:00

Mel, come on!

0:25:000:25:02

Her blood-sugar levels have fallen so low,

0:25:020:25:04

she's very close to a coma.

0:25:040:25:07

It happened in the early hours. John was in another room,

0:25:070:25:11

and if it hadn't been for Penny the retriever,

0:25:110:25:13

he would never have known.

0:25:130:25:15

'Penny come up and started nudging me, quite severe.'

0:25:150:25:20

Once I acknowledged her, she started to nudge again,

0:25:200:25:23

which made me think, "Ah."

0:25:230:25:26

John dialled 999. The first crew arrived at 5:00 AM.

0:25:260:25:30

They've given her a drug which makes the liver release glucose,

0:25:300:25:34

but if they get it into a vein, it'll be much faster-acting.

0:25:340:25:38

If you hold the hand like that for me...

0:25:380:25:41

John tries to find a vein by bending back Mel's wrist.

0:25:410:25:45

Sharp scratch.

0:25:450:25:47

Fasten it there. See what happens.

0:25:470:25:49

John appears to be making progress, but it's not working.

0:25:490:25:53

Not going in, is it?

0:25:530:25:54

They're going to have to try somewhere else.

0:25:540:25:58

Mel, another sharp scratch coming up, darling.

0:25:580:26:00

Before he gets the needle in, Mel starts to come to.

0:26:000:26:03

Hello!

0:26:030:26:05

Mel!

0:26:070:26:09

Thirsty? I'm not surprised, sweetheart.

0:26:100:26:14

-Mel, we've got a drink here for you.

-Mel!

0:26:140:26:17

John tests her blood-sugar levels.

0:26:170:26:20

Sharp scratch.

0:26:200:26:22

3.8. We need to get her something to eat, really.

0:26:220:26:27

Despite the treatment, Mel's levels are still below the healthy range

0:26:270:26:31

of between four and eight.

0:26:310:26:33

She needs to get some food.

0:26:330:26:35

You all right there, darling? Open your eyes.

0:26:350:26:38

Right. Mel, can you talk to me at all?

0:26:380:26:43

Can you give us a smile?

0:26:430:26:45

As Mel's husband prepares the porridge,

0:26:450:26:48

John tries to get her to take some glucose gel.

0:26:480:26:50

OK. Open up, then. Swallow it for me.

0:26:500:26:53

-Ugh!

-I know it doesn't taste very nice.

0:26:550:26:57

He's happy enough with her progress to send the night crew home.

0:26:570:27:01

-If you guys are all packed up and want to go...

-Thank you.

0:27:010:27:06

Come here. Come on, then. Come on, baby. Leave the shoe.

0:27:060:27:10

Penny's instincts tell her that her mistress is in good hands.

0:27:100:27:14

She's not just a pet. She's trained to help disabled people like Mel

0:27:140:27:18

around the house.

0:27:180:27:20

'If Mel drops something, Penny will come along and pick it up.'

0:27:200:27:24

She's there to help her get dressed, undressed,

0:27:240:27:27

put the lights on and off.

0:27:270:27:29

'They're just basic push-pull tasks.'

0:27:290:27:32

Almost there. Three spoonfuls, then Penny can have the rest.

0:27:320:27:35

It's not the first time Penny's raised the alarm.

0:27:350:27:38

She's proved to have an amazing instinct

0:27:380:27:40

about the state of Mel's health.

0:27:400:27:42

'Penny picks up on something. I've no idea what it is.'

0:27:420:27:46

It could be her breathing. It's just very, very strange.

0:27:460:27:49

Now she comes up and she just nudges me,

0:27:490:27:53

nudges me. I think she probably did this the first time,

0:27:530:27:58

but I wasn't responding in any way.

0:27:580:28:01

So she actually jumped up onto the bed

0:28:010:28:03

and started sitting on me, nudging me,

0:28:030:28:07

till eventually I thought, "This is something..."

0:28:070:28:10

"This isn't quite normal."

0:28:100:28:12

Now Mel is a bit brighter, John tells her how Penny saved her life.

0:28:140:28:19

-She woke me up again!

-You good girl.

0:28:190:28:23

She's a very good girl. If she wasn't,

0:28:230:28:25

then, you probably wouldn't be...

0:28:250:28:27

..wouldn't be here.

0:28:290:28:31

Thankfully, the combination of food, drugs and glucose

0:28:310:28:35

soon start to take effect.

0:28:350:28:37

6.9.

0:28:370:28:39

-That's a bit better, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:28:390:28:42

With that reading, John's happy that Mel doesn't need to go to hospital.

0:28:440:28:48

Just give the diabetic clinic a ring and just see what they say.

0:28:480:28:52

If her blood sugar's all over the place,

0:28:520:28:54

it's probably best that they keep an eye on her.

0:28:540:28:57

Right. Take care!

0:28:570:28:59

Mel's been suffering more frequent attacks like this,

0:28:590:29:02

so she'll need to be monitored carefully

0:29:020:29:04

as her blood-sugar levels are very unstable.

0:29:040:29:07

As for Penny, she may be officially retired,

0:29:070:29:11

but no-one will be able to stop her keeping an eye on Mel.

0:29:110:29:14

'The bad news is, they've taken her away from Mel.'

0:29:140:29:18

The good news is, she's my dog.

0:29:180:29:21

So they've actually signed her over to me.

0:29:210:29:24

She's now a family pet,

0:29:240:29:27

but I am going to be the last person in the world

0:29:270:29:30

to tell her not to do it.

0:29:300:29:32

She's retired. Just keep on doing it, please,

0:29:320:29:35

for Mel and for myself.

0:29:350:29:37

Now, Penny's training as a disability dog

0:29:400:29:43

didn't train her to spot a diabetic attack.

0:29:430:29:46

That is something she managed to train herself to do.

0:29:460:29:48

These two dogs are trained, though. They're medical-alert dogs.

0:29:480:29:52

We've got Tangle and Daisy here.

0:29:520:29:54

Claire, you are with the charity that trains them.

0:29:540:29:57

What are these dogs trained to do?

0:29:570:29:59

Well, when we have changes in our health,

0:29:590:30:01

we have changes in odour,

0:30:010:30:03

and we can train dogs to detect these changes in odour.

0:30:030:30:07

When useful, the dogs can give a warning.

0:30:070:30:09

So we train cancer-detection dogs.

0:30:090:30:11

And this is what these two specialise in?

0:30:110:30:14

Absolutely. They detect cancer volatiles in urine samples.

0:30:140:30:17

These aren't given to people as assistance dogs,

0:30:170:30:20

but we also train assistance dogs, and the main dogs we train

0:30:200:30:23

-are blood-sugar detection dogs.

-What kind of things do they help with?

0:30:230:30:27

-If people have diabetes...

-That's right.

0:30:270:30:29

If people have brittle type-1 diabetes,

0:30:290:30:32

and are unable to notice when their blood-sugar levels are dangerously low,

0:30:320:30:36

the dogs can give a warning in plenty of time,

0:30:360:30:38

and we've got a dog placed with a seven-year-old girl

0:30:380:30:41

whose parents were having terrible concerns about her because she was going into comas

0:30:410:30:45

because of these massive fluctuations, and this dog now attends primary school with her.

0:30:450:30:50

So before anybody knows, or she knows, the dog gives a warning.

0:30:500:30:54

Yes. Our dogs are trained to lick and nudge and paw

0:30:540:30:57

if they don't get an answer - a bit like this, but I'm not...

0:30:570:31:00

That's just affection, is it, from Daisy?

0:31:000:31:03

That's just affection. But with the dogs that work with young children,

0:31:030:31:07

not only do they warn the child, but they go and warn an adult,

0:31:070:31:11

so during the night, Shirley goes to Rebecca's bedroom and wakes up Mum.

0:31:110:31:15

And you've seen occasions when dogs like these

0:31:150:31:18

-literally save people's lives?

-All the time.

0:31:180:31:21

The people we work with were having regular paramedic callouts,

0:31:210:31:24

regular hospital admissions, and since the placement of the dogs,

0:31:240:31:27

none of our clients have had hospital admissions or paramedic callouts.

0:31:270:31:32

-Makes a huge difference.

-Absolutely amazing.

0:31:320:31:34

Thank you, Daisy. You're very sweet, and Tangle's quite laid-back.

0:31:340:31:38

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:31:380:31:40

Thank you, Louise. I'm just looking here at dispatch.

0:31:400:31:43

This is the dispatch area, where they send out ambulances

0:31:430:31:46

and fast-response vehicles and all kinds of different things.

0:31:460:31:49

They had a helicopter out only yesterday

0:31:490:31:52

for a woman who fell off a horse on the beach,

0:31:520:31:54

and it's fascinating listening to them talking to people

0:31:540:31:57

and finding out who they need to get there.

0:31:570:32:00

-I wanted to chat to Jackie here. Have you got a moment?

-Yes.

0:32:000:32:03

You're not on a call? Lovely. About ponds!

0:32:030:32:06

People say ponds are dangerous. My dad would never have one,

0:32:060:32:10

because he said a pond was a dangerous thing to have in a garden.

0:32:100:32:13

-Very dangerous, yeah.

-You think so too?

0:32:130:32:15

-After taking the call, yes.

-Tell us about this call.

0:32:150:32:19

Well, I took a call from a 15 year old,

0:32:190:32:21

a young lady. She was the daughter. A young lad had fallen in the pond.

0:32:210:32:26

Dad was bringing the boy out of the pond.

0:32:260:32:28

He was not breathing, and she was the only one that wasn't panicking.

0:32:280:32:32

And I came through and I said to her, "Where is he?"

0:32:320:32:35

She said, "Dad's carrying him out the pond now."

0:32:350:32:38

-How old was the child?

-He was 15 months old,

0:32:380:32:41

and he'd fallen into two foot of water.

0:32:410:32:43

-Breathing?

-No. Not breathing. No, no.

0:32:430:32:46

-That's got to make your blood run cold.

-It did.

0:32:460:32:48

It was the first call I'd ever taken like that, I must admit.

0:32:480:32:52

-So what do you do next?

-I said to her straight away,

0:32:520:32:54

"Put him down flat on his back and tilt his head back,"

0:32:540:32:57

which then opens up their airways, which is the first thing you do with anybody who's not breathing.

0:32:570:33:02

And they did that. She relayed the instructions,

0:33:020:33:05

and after they tilted his head back, the lad started to cough and cry

0:33:050:33:10

and came round without us doing CPR on him.

0:33:100:33:13

-You saved the baby's life.

-I don't think of it like that.

0:33:130:33:17

-You did, though, didn't you?

-Yeah, I suppose.

0:33:170:33:20

-Do you have the shakes after a call like that?

-No.

0:33:200:33:22

I think I'd be shaking at the thought of what had just happened.

0:33:220:33:25

We're coming up to the summer holidays now,

0:33:250:33:28

a lot of children playing around the sea and swimming pools.

0:33:280:33:31

If you find a child in that situation,

0:33:310:33:33

that's fallen into the water and stopped breathing,

0:33:330:33:36

-what do you do?

-Lie him on his back and tilt his head back.

0:33:360:33:39

Look in their mouths and make sure there's nothing

0:33:390:33:42

that could be blocking. You tilt their head back.

0:33:420:33:44

That opens up the airways, and hopefully that will get them breathing again

0:33:440:33:48

-before you have to think about doing CPR.

-OK.

0:33:480:33:51

But you wouldn't have a pond in your back garden?

0:33:510:33:54

In actual fact I have, but then I haven't got young children.

0:33:540:33:57

That's the key. Some kind of grille over it, I suppose, is the way.

0:33:570:34:01

-Or fill it in.

-All right. Lovely. Thank you very much.

0:34:010:34:04

Fascinating, don't you think? Now back to the New Forest

0:34:040:34:07

and that articulated lorry. Four hours after it careered off the road

0:34:070:34:11

into surrounding countryside, it's still there.

0:34:110:34:14

Now there's more trouble - another accident on the same stretch of road.

0:34:140:34:18

It's a case of deja vu for traffic cop Ken Venning.

0:34:200:34:23

There's been another accident, and it looks like it might have been caused

0:34:230:34:27

by drivers being distracted by the sight of the lorry

0:34:270:34:30

being pulled out of the New Forest.

0:34:300:34:32

En route to a three-vehicle RTI road-traffic incident,

0:34:320:34:35

believed collision. It's an incident that happened earlier on today

0:34:350:34:39

whereby a lorry's gone off the carriageway,

0:34:390:34:42

so I'm not sure if someone's been looking at something else and it's happened as a result of that.

0:34:420:34:47

Four cars are involved. This time, however,

0:34:490:34:52

the occupants are lucky. There are no injuries,

0:34:520:34:54

and the damage is relatively minor.

0:34:540:34:57

On the opposite side of the road, a massive recovery truck has arrived

0:35:000:35:04

to rescue the stranded lorry. There's a lot of activity.

0:35:040:35:07

Impressive it may be, but will it be strong enough

0:35:090:35:12

to drag this 44-ton truck and its cargo out of the bushes?

0:35:120:35:16

Well, hopefully we're going to try and pull it back

0:35:160:35:20

to pull it all in line, then take it up there.

0:35:200:35:23

We don't know whether that'll happen yet.

0:35:230:35:26

At first I thought pull it up there, but there's too much in the way,

0:35:260:35:30

so we're going to give this a go.

0:35:300:35:32

As it turns out, the recovery truck is specially built

0:35:370:35:41

for this kind of job, and it has no trouble

0:35:410:35:43

pulling the stricken lorry back up the hill.

0:35:430:35:46

PC Duncan Innes is checking out the cab's equivalent of a black box.

0:35:500:35:54

It will tell him how fast the lorry was going.

0:35:540:35:56

He also finds some other valuable evidence.

0:35:560:35:59

Mr Pascoe tells us that he choked on a boiled sweet.

0:35:590:36:04

As you can see, in the passenger-door handle,

0:36:040:36:07

we've actually got an exhibit of the boiled sweet,

0:36:070:36:10

so I think everything Mr Pascoe's told us is probably quite factual.

0:36:100:36:14

And, unbelievably, the only victims of this crash

0:36:140:36:18

are some forest vegetation and 30 tons of defrosted food.

0:36:180:36:23

I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous

0:36:260:36:29

when I went up in that helicopter with the coastguard rescue.

0:36:290:36:32

Sharon's got a story about somebody who was also a bit nervous.

0:36:320:36:35

-I have.

-She'd hurt herself, and what happened, this lady?

0:36:350:36:39

A lady had fallen on the cliffs when she was out walking,

0:36:390:36:43

and so it was really hard to access her.

0:36:430:36:46

We couldn't get the ambulance down over the cliffs to get to her.

0:36:460:36:49

She'd injured her ankle and was unable to walk.

0:36:490:36:52

-Right.

-We asked the helicopter to attend,

0:36:520:36:55

to try and airlift her out, but once the helicopter had got there,

0:36:550:36:59

she decided there was no way she was going to get onto it.

0:36:590:37:02

She didn't like to fly, so she turned the helicopter away.

0:37:020:37:05

You wouldn't believe that that was going to happen.

0:37:050:37:08

-No.

-She was adamant.

-It didn't matter how much pain she was in,

0:37:080:37:12

-she wasn't going on the helicopter.

-So she was taken away by...

0:37:120:37:16

-How did you get her off?

-The coastguard actually assisted

0:37:160:37:19

with a 4x4, and they got her back up the trackway

0:37:190:37:22

to the car park for the ambulance crew to take her to hospital.

0:37:220:37:25

But it was lucky she didn't get into the helicopter.

0:37:250:37:28

It was. Shortly after she declined the helicopter,

0:37:280:37:32

the helicopter had started to lift to go back to its base,

0:37:320:37:35

and we received a phone call from a gentleman who was panicking.

0:37:350:37:38

His son had been bitten by an adder.

0:37:380:37:40

He wanted to know where the nearest hospital was to drive him there.

0:37:400:37:44

So we'd asked him where he was, and figured out, "He's on that road,"

0:37:440:37:48

and thought, "The helicopter's only a couple of minutes away,"

0:37:480:37:51

so we spoke to the gentleman and said, "We need you to pull over."

0:37:510:37:55

"There's a helicopter in the area. They can land in a field

0:37:550:37:59

-and take your son to hospital."

-And the key being there

0:37:590:38:02

-that he was on holiday, so...

-He had no idea where he was.

0:38:020:38:05

So the helicopter went down and guided him?

0:38:050:38:08

The helicopter flew along the road and caught up to him,

0:38:080:38:12

and the gentleman saw the helicopter, helicopter landed in a field

0:38:120:38:16

next to a roundabout, and they were able to get to the child

0:38:160:38:19

and get the child taken to hospital.

0:38:190:38:22

And this little boy had been bitten by the adder, hadn't he?

0:38:220:38:25

-Was he in quite a bad way?

-He was really poorly.

0:38:250:38:28

He had a bad reaction to the bite, and the leg had started to go black

0:38:280:38:32

-around the area of the bite.

-And is that normal

0:38:320:38:34

-or some kind of allergic reaction?

-It's an allergic reaction he had,

0:38:340:38:38

but that was a severe reaction in that particular case.

0:38:380:38:42

So if the lady had been on board the helicopter,

0:38:420:38:44

what would have happened to that little boy?

0:38:440:38:47

We would have been able to advise the father where to drive,

0:38:470:38:50

and endeavour to get an ambulance to him,

0:38:500:38:53

but it was just absolutely key at that point

0:38:530:38:56

that we were able to get the helicopter to him

0:38:560:38:59

-and his son that quickly.

-An extraordinary decision by her,

0:38:590:39:02

-and the little boy was OK.

-Yeah. It was all luck.

0:39:020:39:05

What a fantastic story! What a fantastic story that is,

0:39:050:39:08

don't you think? And I should say, because I'm an animal lover myself,

0:39:080:39:11

that more people are hurt by wasps each year than hurt by adders,

0:39:110:39:15

so don't get frightened in the countryside.

0:39:150:39:18

Earlier we watched Buck Rogers and the Portland Coastguard team

0:39:180:39:21

attempt the dangerous rescue of a man 500 feet up a cliff face.

0:39:210:39:25

OK, and steady. Once again...

0:39:250:39:27

Coming clear.

0:39:270:39:30

Approaching the step.

0:39:300:39:33

It was a success, and Rescue 106 rushed the injured man, Graham Dover

0:39:330:39:37

to Dorchester Hospital for lifesaving surgery.

0:39:370:39:40

He talked to us about it, and is recovering.

0:39:400:39:42

Graham underwent 15 hours of surgery at Dorchester Hospital.

0:39:440:39:48

Apart from a few hazy flashbacks,

0:39:480:39:50

he doesn't remember the accident at all.

0:39:500:39:52

The first thing he knew was waking up in intensive care

0:39:520:39:55

a day and a half later.

0:39:550:39:57

My injuries were... I had collapsed lungs,

0:39:570:40:00

which they inserted some pipes and reinflated,

0:40:000:40:04

and most of my injuries - I was fortunate - was to my arms.

0:40:040:40:09

It wasn't to the main trunk of my body.

0:40:090:40:12

I had two breaks in my ulna on this side,

0:40:120:40:15

and then on this side I shattered my elbow,

0:40:150:40:18

and they've had to put a replacement ceramic elbow back in this side,

0:40:180:40:22

and also I'd broken and dislocated my wrist,

0:40:220:40:26

which now has got a metal plate which has got to stay in permanently

0:40:260:40:29

on that side. But everything's well on the way to recovery now.

0:40:290:40:35

Graham realises he owes his survival to so many people,

0:40:350:40:39

from William the dog-walker, who first heard his cries,

0:40:390:40:42

to the helicopter crew and the medical staff.

0:40:420:40:45

A big thank-you, obviously, to the chap that went to get help for me,

0:40:450:40:49

and to kick everything into life from the rest of the people

0:40:490:40:53

that were all involved - not just the winch man and helicopter people

0:40:530:40:56

and those people who acted so fantastically on that night,

0:40:560:41:00

but also everybody that cared for me for the best part of a month

0:41:000:41:03

while I was in hospital, all those people.

0:41:030:41:06

If it wasn't for their professionalism

0:41:060:41:08

and their dedication to it all,

0:41:080:41:10

I certainly wouldn't be as happy as I am now, would I?

0:41:100:41:15

Remember I was saying about the lady who'd fallen off the horse.

0:41:150:41:19

It occurred to me, I wondered how often that sort of thing happened.

0:41:190:41:22

-If you come over here to Sharon... She's not on a call.

-I'm not.

0:41:220:41:26

People falling off horses and injuring themselves

0:41:260:41:28

-is quite a regular thing.

-It is. Dorset's a very rural county,

0:41:280:41:32

and we've got a lot of beaches as well,

0:41:320:41:34

so the increase, especially in the summer,

0:41:340:41:37

with people falling off of horses and general outdoor-activity accidents,

0:41:370:41:41

-is very high.

-But horses in particular?

0:41:410:41:43

This is interesting. To show you how often this happens,

0:41:430:41:47

-two within the last 24 hours?

-That's right, two.

0:41:470:41:49

-Where?

-We've had one in woodland and one on a beach.

0:41:490:41:53

Both of which... How serious?

0:41:530:41:56

Both needed to go in the helicopter.

0:41:560:41:58

We used the helicopter to extricate from the beach.

0:41:580:42:01

It was a difficult access. And the one in woodland,

0:42:010:42:04

to stabilise the patient and get them into hospital quicker.

0:42:040:42:07

Thank you very much. Interesting, that.

0:42:070:42:10

You wouldn't assume that riding horses is so dangerous.

0:42:100:42:13

I thought your dogs, by the way, were fascinating.

0:42:130:42:16

Weren't they lovely? There are only 20 of those medical-alert dogs

0:42:160:42:20

from that charity in the country, and if you want one,

0:42:200:42:23

-it's a three-year waiting list.

-But they'll grow that, won't they?

0:42:230:42:26

I imagine they will. That little girl takes her dog to school,

0:42:260:42:29

-which is incredible.

-It makes sense. And by the way,

0:42:290:42:33

the last thing we learn from this programme,

0:42:330:42:35

-please check your smoke alarm in your house.

-Have you?

0:42:350:42:38

Yeah. I am going to go home and do that straight away.

0:42:380:42:41

That's all from us today. Join us next time for more Real Rescues.

0:42:410:42:45

-Bye-bye.

-Bye-bye.

0:42:450:42:46

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:42:520:42:56

E-mail [email protected]

0:42:560:43:00

A coastguard helicopter team rescues a walker who has fallen a hundred feet down a huge cliff, while a dog saves her owner who has slipped into a diabetic coma.