Elderly man has lucky escape after falling into water at Broads mooring
PUBLISHED: 17:11 08 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:11 08 November 2017
An elderly man had a lucky escape after falling into the water between a boat and the quay at public moorings near Ludham Bridge.
Nigel Godfrey said his father Dan Godfrey, 85, had fallen into the water while trying to get back on board their hired day cruiser.
He said: “We moored up at the Environment Agency’s public moorings on November 2 just upstream of where the Nancy Oldfield Cruising for the Disabled charity boats are moored.
“On return, my father, with no life jacket, which is not uncommon when getting off there for a coffee, decided to board on his own.
“The stern line was slack and the boat moved out while he had one foot on the bank and one on the boat.
“He lost his balance and fell into the water.”
Mr Godfrey said Ormesby resident Michael Baker, who was with them for the day, raised the alarm after seeing his father go in.
Until a rope was lowered, Mr Godfrey Snr. managed to cling to Mr. Baker’s shoe.
“The bank is at least three feet high there and sandwiched between the boat he could have gone unnoticed,” said Mr Godfrey.
A passing cruiser with two families aboard responded to their cries for help and two “burly” men came to their assistance.
“It took four of us at least 10 minutes to recover my dad.
“I went into the water to assist with a line, as there were three people on the bank. The emergency services were called, and arrived soon after.”
Mr Godfrey Snr was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for further treatment.
“I picked him up at 8pm. The staff were marvellous,” said Mr Godfrey. “He suffered some injuries to his chest muscles from being pulled out the water.”
Mr Godfrey said he had to use the Broads Authority’s chains and ladders on the opposite bank to get out.
“I am wondering if the EA has an intention to install chains and ladders, and if not, do they not have a duty of care?
“If we had not been in the vicinity, the incident could have easily been a fatality.”
The EA responds...
In response to the incident involving Dan Godfrey, the Environment Agency apologised to the family and said it took safety seriously.
In reply to questions sent regarding the matter, a spokesperson for the agency said: “The quay heading where the incident occurred was rebuilt on behalf of the Environment Agency in around 2005 and was completed in accordance with the planning consent granted for the works.
“Following a routine asset review in the summer, the Environment Agency identified that the quay would benefit from a safety grab chain, ladders and a throw line,” said the spokesperson.
“Work was scheduled to install these features over the winter when the moorings are quieter.
“We take safety very seriously and were shocked to hear of the incident.
“As a result we have already arranged to bring this work forward to have it completed as soon as we are able.”