Britain’s community spirit shone through the bleakness of the past few days as emergency services and volunteers performed a series of remarkable rescues.
Emergency crews have been working back to back to help people – and animals – stranded in the snow, while Mountain Rescue said it had carried out a year’s worth of operations in just three days.
Lifeboat volunteers have delivered emergency prescriptions to vulnerable people stuck indoors, the army has helped transport a barrage of hospital staff to work, while a duck, baby hare and a dog were also delivered to safety.
Using flood 4x4 vehicles from @RNLIBarrydock station volunteers took #NHS staff last night and this morning to and from the hospitals to ensure front line services stay open #StormEmma #ProudOfOurCrowd pic.twitter.com/xeDZQs3pGS— RNLI (@RNLI) March 2, 2018
Here is a round-up of some of the striking rescues carried out over the last few days:
– An expectant mother and dialysis patient
A heavily pregnant mother in a hilltop cottage and a patient needing dialysis were just some of the people helped by the RNLI’s North Wales team on Friday.
Volunteers drove six hours to Pentrefoelas, near Betws-y-Coed, and dodged 15ft snowdrifts to help the 38-week pregnant woman get closer to hospital in case she went into labour.
Another team managed to reach a man cut off in Dawn, near Betws-yn-Rhos, who needed to get to hospital for dialysis treatment.
– An Irish sea swimmer
A swimmer had to be rescued from the sea off the Dublin coast in the midst of the worst winter storms to hit the country in decades on Friday.
An onlooker who was at the scene in Sandycove, south Co Dublin, when the incident happened said she was shocked to see a woman entering the water in such severe weather conditions.
– An elderly couple
An elderly couple and their two dogs were dug out of their house in southern Scotland after becoming trapped by 12ft (3.6m) snow drifts around the property.
Two police officers and a mountain rescue team manged to dig them out of the secluded farm house near West Linton after they called for help on Friday afternoon.
Last night a vulnerable couple were rescued by officers after being stranded in their home in a remote Borders location, buried in snowdrifts over 12ft. Both have health issues & had no heat due to coal shed being buried. #keepingpeoplesafe 1/2 pic.twitter.com/yZmVDJORVc— Police Scotland (@policescotland) March 3, 2018
– A woman in an electric wheelchair
A disabled woman was rescued by a fire crew after her electric wheelchair broke down in Moorends, Doncaster.
The woman, who was not wearing a coat, could not get into her home and had taken shelter from the freezing conditions in a local chemist.
She was driven home on Thursday afternoon while firefighters from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue pushed the chair for a quarter of a mile in the snow and ice.
Firefighters from Thorne Blue Watch rescued a lady on Thursday evening after she became stranded in her motorised wheelchair due to a flat battery, in Moorends #Doncaster. Firefighters pushed her the quarter of a mile in the snow to her home and made sure she was safe & well pic.twitter.com/XoIy1M8NPe— South Yorkshire Fire (@SYFR) March 2, 2018
– Stranded ice walkers
Fire officers used a canoe to rescue people who were believed to have walked over the frozen Moat Pond in East Grinstead and became stranded.
– A duck
A eider duck that was entangled in fishing line for hours at Royal Britannia in Edinburgh on Saturday was cut free by a South Queensferry Coastguard rescue swimmer as his beak began to sink.
Kaimes Beasley, duty controller for HM Coastguard, said they were concerned a member of public might attempt to help which could have been “very dangerous” in the conditions.
No job too big or too small. Itâs entirely appropriate that today, on #WorldWildlifeDay we post this lovely little rescue story of an #eiderduck in #Edinburgh this afternoon...#allsafe 🦆 👍 https://t.co/ItQ7QEpRWj pic.twitter.com/4JRsb0FtXx— Maritime and Coastguard Agency (@MCA_media) March 3, 2018
– A baby hare
A police officer at Dublin Airport scooped up a baby hare from the snow on Saturday morning. A video posted on Twitter showed the snow-covered animal being plucked to safety before being given “food and heat”.
A special rescue this morning by one of our Airport Police. This little fella was taken to safety & given food and heat. Weâre happy to report heâs safe and well. #BeastFromTheEast #Snow #BabyRabbit pic.twitter.com/uyP78y5BOH— Dublin Airport (@DublinAirport) March 3, 2018
– A dog
London Fire Brigade saved a long-haired Pekinese that had become trapped on a frozen pond in Barnet, north London, after falling through thin ice on Wednesday.
– An ambulance
Locals in Dublin, Ireland, rushed to the rescue of an ambulance when it became stuck in the snow. Footage showed a group pushing the ambulance to help it on its way on Saturday.