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Volunteer hurt in canoeist rescue

30 November 09 08:16 GMT

A rescuer who went to the aid of four canoeists who became trapped in a fast-flowing river in Conwy suffered broken ribs after being hit by a falling rock.

The volunteer was with fellow members of Ogwen mountain rescue team at the river near Betws-y-Coed where the canoeists ran into trouble on Friday.

The man, in his 40s, was being roped down a gorge to help a man and woman in the water when the incident happened.

Two female canoeists were flown to hospital in Bangor by RAF helicopter.

The rescuer, who has not been named, also needed hospital treatment for broken ribs and severe bruising to his shoulders.

The alarm was raised on Friday just after 1700 GMT when the canoeists got into difficulty near the Conwy Falls restaurant.

The canoeists had decided to get out of the fast-flowing river after reaching a marker warning of a dangerous waterfall 100 ft (30.5m) ahead.

After the volunteer trying to help the man and woman who were in the river clinging to a rock was injured, their rescue was completed by a rope team from North Wales Fire Service.

The two other women were saved by Ogwen team volunteer Chris Lloyd, who was lowered down twice to the rock the women were perched on.

Mr Lloyd later described the river as "unforgiving" and in places "like a churning washing machine".

The fire service sent three engines, two water incident units and a rope rescue unit to the scene.

A team from RAF Valley, North Wales Police and the Welsh Ambulance Service also attended.

Aspokesperson for the fire service said they were told four canoeists were trapped in the river near the B4406 in Penmachno.

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