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Last Updated: Monday, 28 April 2008, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK
'I survived a bomb attack'
By Andy Brownstone
Newsbeat reporter, Camp Bastion, Afghanistan

Lance Corporal Jamie Dougal
L/Cpl Dougal says he wouldn't be here without the Mastiff

Lance Corporal Jamie Dougal is a very lucky man. He was on a routine patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand Province when the vehicle he was in set off a roadside Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

Jamie, 25, was standing in the top cover position, which is where you are half out of the hatch on top, holding the mounted gun.

When the explosion went off, the entire Mastiff vehicle left the ground and he was thrown out onto the roof.

He said: "I didn't really know what had happened. I got flung out and smashed my face on the side of the turret.

"I bust my nose and lip and blood started coming out straight away. I ripped all my arm open. I thought it was broken but it turned out to be badly swollen which is good.

"The rest of my body is just covered in cuts and bruises."

His colleagues gave him first aid treatment while he lay on the roof of the vehicle. Then one of the emergency rescue helicopters picked him up and flew him back to the field hospital at Camp Bastion.

He was discharged within a couple of days.

The Mastiff is the vehicle of choice in Afghanistan. The main threat from the Taleban are IEDs, but even they are struggling to get to grips with this incredibly tough piece of kit.

At a cost of around 1m it's not cheap, but it's saving lives on a daily basis.

They test it out by driving it over mines. It has six wheels so it can keep going if some of them get blown off.

The armour is designed to take the force of an explosion away from the vehicle, and it's covered in cameras so the troops inside can see 360 degrees around them.

Amazingly no-one inside Jamie's Mastiff was hurt.

He added: "Considering how bad the explosion was and considering the small amount of injuries I got, I'd definitely say that if it wasn't for the Mastiff I wouldn't be here today.

"It definitely saved my life."

Afghanistan diary: Day 1
Monday, 28 April 2008, 05:11 GMT |  Newsbeat
Afghanistan diary: Day 2
Monday, 28 April 2008, 05:11 GMT |  Newsbeat
British forces 'treat injured Taleban'
Monday, 28 April 2008, 05:11 GMT |  Newsbeat
In pictures: Camp Bastion hospital
Monday, 28 April 2008, 05:11 GMT |  The P Word

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