Firefighter looks on while driving instructor’s car sinks in 4ft flood ‘because crew can only to go in up to the waist'

19 February 2024, 14:24 | Updated: 19 February 2024, 15:01

The video shows a fireman leaning on a fence while the driving instructor is stranded
The video shows a fireman leaning on a fence while the driving instructor is stranded. Picture: @Discoveryjamie/YouTube

By Asher McShane

This is the moment a firefighter watches a trapped driving instructor being rescued by brave members of the public.

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The man was rescued by filmmaker Jamie Price and his partner Danielle, both 32, who thought the driving instructor ‘was going to die’ when they arrived at the scene of the flood in Ingatestone, Essex.

Mr Price told MailOnine that emergency workers would not enter the water because they had to wait for specialist crews who were trained for the water depth.

He said: “I knew for a fact the water was freezing cold. He'd obviously been in there for some time waiting for the fire brigade to arrive.”

FIRE-RESCUE… BUT WE DID WHAT THEY COULDNT…(as seen in todays papers)

Mr Price said he asked firefighters at the scene why they were not helping the man, and he was told they were only ‘wader trained’ and the water level was too high for them to go in and help.

In a video, the fireman can be seen leaning on a fence and saying on his radio: “He's over the steering wheel, but he's alright. He can't open the windows.

He adds: “Yeah, he's on his phone, he's alright.”

Read more: Boy’s father ‘jumped in’ to try and find son, two, missing in River Soar flood as divers join in search

Read more: Baby aged 10 months among three children found dead in Bristol as woman, 42, arrested on suspicion of murder

Mr Price, who has rescued others at the same ford, added: “It's a very, very, very dangerous ford, probably the most dangerous ford in the country if I'm completely honest at the moment.”

But he said he understood that it was a difficult situation for the fire and rescue crews and he could tell they wanted to be able to step in and help.

Under the video, which was posted this morning, Danielle wrote: “Couldn't sit there and watch him panic, after being told to sit tight. I'm glad that we rescued him and got him to safety I couldn't live with myself if I sat there and something bad happened. Great real perspective of the situation.”

One viewer commented: “Well done you for taking action! However, shame on the rescue services. I'm no professional, but anyone can see the water is not rushing madly if at all. The car is mere meters from a fence and a tree. This is nothing a human chain or bit of decent rope could't overcome..”

Another posted: “That's despicable that fire brigade didn’t help!”

Essex Fire and Rescue Service previously said in a statement: 'Crews who arrived at the incident at Buttsbury Wash found a car stuck in over 1.2 metres of floodwater. 

“Because of the depth, these crews requested additional support from our specialist water team while they remained at the scene to ensure the driver was safe. 

"The driver got out of the car themselves.

“Our advice for motorists is not to drive through floodwater. Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is committed to making Essex a safe place to live, work, and travel. We want to help prevent and reduce incidents like this occurring.

“Please do not drive through flood water. You don't know how deep it could be, and you could put yourself and others at risk. Always find an alternative route."

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