Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Woman trapped down well rescued

Ambulance staff said Denise Brooks seemed none the worse for her experience down the well

A 65-year-old woman who cannot swim spent 90 minutes clinging to a rope after falling into a well full of water.

Denise Brooks, of Abbots Morton, Worcestershire, was trying to free a water pump to fill her duck pond when she fell, leaving her up to her neck in water.

Her husband Mike said: "After we'd pumped enough water across we tried to pull the pump back up but it got stuck whilst still under the water.

"When it has happened in the past we have lowered a ladder down the well and Denise has climbed down with a pole and prodded the pump until it has come free.

"We did exactly the same thing again this time. Denise climbed down with a pole to try and free the pump. The ladder extends about 30 feet down the well but does not reach the water - there was a gap of 8ft to 10ft from the bottom rung to the water. As she climbed down, unfortunately, she slipped and fell into the water."

Mrs Brooks added: "It was a real shock and very frightening when I hit the water as I was completely submerged. I can't swim but managed to grab on to the rope to keep myself afloat. After a few minutes I managed to calm myself down and wedged myself against the wall and felt comfortable but it was really cold.

"Mike tried to pull me up the 8ft so that I could grab the bottom of the ladder but he couldn't manage so went to call 999. I was up to my neck in the water and couldn't touch the bottom. I am just glad that the rope was there otherwise I don't know what would have happened - I dread to think."

Jerry Penn Ashman, senior ambulance officer at West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: "When our staff arrived, Denise was down the well and holding on to a rope. She seemed remarkably calm considering her predicament.

"Given the length of time that she had been in the water, it was no surprise that she was slightly hypothermic. We warmed her up and thankfully she appears to be none the worse for her experience."

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