Couple rescued from submerged car in ‘Christmas miracle’

Jimmy Nsubuga
·3 min read
Two firemen dived into the water to save the couple (BBC/Alex Emmerson)
Two firemen dived into the water to save the couple (BBC/Alex Emmerson)

A couple has been rescued after spending two hours submerged in their car on Christmas eve.

Emergency crews were called after the unnamed man and woman got into trouble in Norfolk on 24 December as the country braced for Storm Bella.

Footage showed rescuers pulling the couple from the vehicle when they arrived at approximately 10.44am.

Eyewitnesses Matt Emmerson, 42, told the BBC: ‘Whoever this poor couple were, they were in there for a long time – close to two hours. The water must have been freezing.’

His wife Alex, 44, said she had assumed the car was empty because no one had tried to “leap out”.

Watch: Major incident declared in Norfolk following flooding

The pair was eventually transferred to hospital, with their rescue described as a “Christmas miracle” by witnesses.

Norfolk has been experiencing flooding since Wednesday, with up to a month of rain falling in a single day.

Storm Bella will bring severe gales and heavy rain to the UK and Ireland on Boxing Day, forecasters have warned.

Winds of up to 70mph are expected in exposed coastal locations of the UK and further downpours are also due, with the Met Office adding 15-25mm is likely to fall in Wales and south-west England, and up to 40-60mm over some hills.

Parts of the country are already sodden after recent wet weather and flooding, with residents in more than 1,300 properties along the River Great Ouse in Bedfordshire advised to leave their homes as water levels rose on Christmas Day.

Further rain is expected on Sunday and Monday and the area is one of three under a severe flood warning, meaning a danger to life, along with the Cogenhoe Mill caravan site and Billing Aquadrome Holiday Park, both on the River Nene in Northamptonshire.

The storm has led to the Met Office issuing an amber wind warning, which warns travel could be disrupted, for parts of south Wales and across southern England on Saturday.

Flood defences have been installed in Ironbridge, Shropshire, ahead of Storm Bella. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)
Flood defences have been installed in Ironbridge, Shropshire (Getty)

Meanwhile, a yellow warning of wind for the whole of England and Wales as well as the far south of Scotland has also been issued and will be in force from 3pm on Boxing Day.

In addition to the strong winds, the Met Office said a period of heavy rain will affect western and southern areas on Boxing Day.

A yellow warning for rain has been issued for parts of Scotland, Wales and much of north and south west England on Saturday, including areas where there has already been flooding from recent downpours.

In Ireland, Met Eireann issued a country-wide status yellow wind and rain warning, in force until 4am on Sunday.

As of 5am, England has 78 flood warnings and 99 flood alerts, two flood warnings and five flood alerts are in force in Wales, and seven warnings and 13 alerts have been issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

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