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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 October, 2004, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Rescue from car trapped in river
River rescue
An air ambulance paramedic assisted in the rescue
A man was rescued from the roof of his car after he became trapped when trying to cross a river in County Durham.

The 45-year-old was using the Stanhope Ford on the River Wear, which had become swollen after days of heavy rain, when his car was washed away.

The Teesside air ambulance hovered above him and he was helped to safety.

Although a sign warns people not to drive across the ford after wet weather, the rescue on Sunday afternoon was the third in two years.

The car doors were jammed because of the force of the water, which was beginning to wash the car downstream.

It was also difficult to open the windows because the water had affected the electrics.

Peter Barnes, the pilot of the Teesside air ambulance, said "I got the skid of the helicopter onto the roof of the car.

"The paramedic got out and helped the man onto the roof. Then I managed to land right on the roof so they could both climb inside."

A spokesman for Durham Police said he could not believe people would still use the crossing when river levels were so high.

Two airlifted from swollen river
19 Aug 04  |  England

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