Wales

Elderly couple rescued from submerged car in St Clears

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Media caption"We just jumped in without thinking"

Two men have described the "struggle" of rescuing an elderly couple after their car was swept away and submerged in a river.

Jonathan Law and Darren Priddle jumped into the Glasfryn Ford in St Clears, Carmarthenshire, after seeing the car wash about 100m (328ft) downstream.

The car became wedged on another vehicle which had previously been swept away, which aided the rescue attempt.

The couple have been taken to Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen to be treated.

Image caption The car was submerged in a ford

Mr Law was first on the scene and saw the car reversing near the ford on Friday, before it was swept away.

He then returned to Mr Priddle's dog training centre and both men came back with a hammer and dog training line to perform the rescue.

"It was crazy how quickly the car was being washed down," Mr Law said.

"I don't think people realise the force of the water, the strength of it."

Mr Law went into the water from a narrow point in the bank where the car had stopped, but it moved again and was taken further downstream, where it came to rest on a fallen tree and on top of another submerged vehicle.

"There's quite a big tree that's fallen and cars get washed down there quite a lot... the car from October or December time which they went on top of kind of gave them that extra lift in the water," he added.

Image caption Jonathan Law saw the car get dragged into the water as the couple tried to avoid the ford

Mr Priddle added: "Without that other car they'd definitely not being here today. It has pushed their car enough for us to be able to pull them out of their car and pull them onto the bank.

"We both went straight in the river without thinking. We used the tree that was luckily enough there to help us gain a little bit of momentum.

"It was very difficult, it was a struggle and I was concerned for both me and Jonny but you don't think, you just do.

"At that moment I wasn't thinking about anything but getting them out of the water."

The pair managed to smash the windows of the car and "shimmied" the elderly woman out, before the man was rescued and taken to the bank.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue and the Welsh Ambulance Service attended to assist the rescue and took the couple to hospital at about 12:50 GMT.

The rescuers said it was common for cars to be swept away in the ford.

Mr Priddle said: "It's happened numerous times. The river when it's in this condition is life-threateningly dangerous."

Mr Law added: "It happens quite a lot here, but this is the first time we've had to jump in.

Image caption Officers from Mid and West Wales fire service were called to the scene

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