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Air ambulance scrambled to help with river rescue

PUBLISHED: 12:12 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:12 31 July 2019

A person was rescued from the river near Hardley on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: Stefan Rider

A person was rescued from the river near Hardley on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: Stefan Rider

Archant

A woman was rescued from the river near Hardley yesterday afternoon after being spotted by a passing boat.

East Anglian Air Ambulance. Photo: Perfect Pose Photography/EAAAEast Anglian Air Ambulance. Photo: Perfect Pose Photography/EAAA

Members of the public had spotted her in difficulty and called 999 and the coastguard at around 12.25pm.

They brought the woman on board but emergency services were unable to locate them, and the air ambulance was scrambled.

It took more than half an hour to locate the boat.

When they were found the woman was treated on scene and transported to the shore by a second boat where she could be treated by paramedics.

Stefan Rider. Picture: Abi SimpsonStefan Rider. Picture: Abi Simpson

She was conscious and breathing when she was taken into care of the ambulance service.

Norfolk Police, Norfolk Fire Service, the East Anglian Air Ambulance and East of England Ambulance Service attended the scene.

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Stefan Rider, watch manager at Earlham fire station, said: "We have to thank the boat crew for their swift action and 999 call and it was a demonstration of the close working relationship between the agencies involved."

Mr Rider has also urged everyone in Norfolk to download a new app that can help emergency services pinpoint their location.

Norfolk Fire Service and Norfolk Police are using the what3words app, which uses combinations of words to pinpoint people in remote locations.

The app divides the world into a grid of three-metre squares, which are converted from coordinators into a three-word address.

Police give an example of exists/roof/plod, which refers to a precise point next to a road on the Norfolk Broads.

It is hoped the app will make it easier and quicker for people across Norfolk to share a precise location in an emergency.

Mr Rider added: "When we were called they could only give a location of 'near Hardley Hall', which is quite a long stretch of river.

"If they had what3words we would have known exactly where that boat was.

"We are encouraging everyone who goes out into the middle of nowhere routinely, or where there is no residential addresses, to download it to your phone just in case."

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