News release text
A man who had been trapped in his car, upside down in a ditch for several hours, has been rescued after excellent work involving the emergency services.
It is believed the 44-year-old driver was returning from work in Ashford to Romney Marsh at around 2am on Tuesday morning (13 August) when the accident occurred but his car was not discovered until shortly before 4pm the same day – almost 14 hours later.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service crews were called after a lorry driver spotted the back wheels of a car upside down in a ditch on the A2070. Firefighters from Romney Marsh and Ashford were sent to the scene where they discovered the man still trapped in the vehicle, in an air pocket towards the rear of the car.
Using water rescue kit, two Romney Marsh firefighters climbed 20 feet into the water filled ditch. Romney Marsh Watch Manager, Allan Brown, takes up the story: “The car was almost submerged in four feet of water and the firefighters used hydraulic cutting equipment to release the hatchback door so they could check if there was anyone inside. In order to release him, crews winched the car partially up the bank so it was far enough out of the water to safely remove him through the hatch back door.”
The Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) attended the scene and two HART paramedics also entered the water to assist in dry suits. The driver was treated at the scene by paramedics and a HEMS crew from the air ambulance before being taken by land ambulance to the William Harvey Hospital where he is currently in a stable condition.
Station Manager Rob Sherwood praised the firefighters and their emergency services colleagues, saying: "This was a very unusual rescue and they all did a good job in difficult circumstances. I would like to praise the lorry driver for spotting the car and calling 999, if he hadn’t stopped for a look then the man would have been in there even longer and it might have been a different outcome. Our firefighters managed to get into the car and provided an initial medical response until the ambulance teams quickly took over. All the emergency services at the scene worked as a team to achieve this rescue."
Police are appealing for witnesses, anyone who may have seen the incident or the car in the early hours (a red MG Z5), is asked to contact the Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 01622 798538.