Brave Thetford hikers help rescue four girls trapped on Scottish river

Two men from Thetford helped to save four girls who had got into difficultues in a Scottish loch. Pi

Two men from Thetford helped to save four girls who had got into difficultues in a Scottish loch. Picture by Paul Kybird - Credit: Archant

Two have-a-go heros got more adventure than they bargained for out of their climbing holiday in Scotland after helping to rescue four girls stranded on a rock in the middle of a river.

Two men from Thetford helped to save four girls who had got into difficultues in a Scottish loch. Pa

Two men from Thetford helped to save four girls who had got into difficultues in a Scottish loch. Paul Kybird, one of the rescuers. - Credit: Archant

Paul Kybird and Andrew Downie from Thetford were exploring the Falls of Falloch in Stirlingshire when they heard shouts from the women, who had become trapped after paddling in the fast-flowing water.

After the men fashioned a makeshift safety rope out of a dog lead and helped one girl to the bank, brave Mr Downie, 37, jumped in to save a second girl from the raging current.

The Coastguard, a mountain rescue team, police and paramedics were called to the incident on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Kybird, 27, said: 'The water was only about 6in deep when they got there but it had risen to around 2ft. One girl was quite a strong swimmer and she got to the other side, but the other girls were really struggling.

Two men from Thetford helped to save four girls who had got into difficultues in a Scottish loch. An

Two men from Thetford helped to save four girls who had got into difficultues in a Scottish loch. Andrew Downie, one of the rescuers. - Credit: Archant


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'When the first girl got in it was quite shocking how fast the water was moving. If she didn't have the rope she would have been swept away. The second girl wasn't happy at all trying to cross – it was a bit scary after that point.

'So Andrew took off his shoes and went to help them. He dived across the river without the safety rope. I don't know what he thought he was doing, but this woman was in trouble and he wanted to get her to safety.'

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Mr Downie said he had sprung into action as the second girl attempted to cross.

'She lowered herself into the water but was so apprehensive. I just jumped in and managed to get onto their rock,' he said.

Two men from Thetford helped to save four girls who had got into difficultues in a Scottish loch. HM

Two men from Thetford helped to save four girls who had got into difficultues in a Scottish loch. HMS Coastguard was called in. Picture by Paul Kybird - Credit: Archant

Mr Kybird called the emergency services, who arrived around an hour later. A Coastguard helicopter crew used a winch to rescue Mr Downie and the three women from the rock.

Mr Downie said one of the women was taken to hospital for further treatment. He added: 'The girls were quite lucky we noticed them. I think everyone learnt a lesson.'

Mr Kybird and Mr Downie were on a hiking holiday, staying at a campsite at Inverarnan to climb the Munro mountains, but had taken a rest day to explore the area when they visited the Falls of Falloch.

They were due to return to Norfolk on Friday, and Mr Downie said they were hoping for a 'less eventful day'.

Have you performing a daring act? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk.

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