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Thanks for saving kids in flood rescue
THREE children were rescued from a 4X4 just moments before it was submerged in flood water.
The rescue, under the bridge in Greensward Lane, Hockley, was partly captured on camera by an onlooker and can be viewed here:
The heroics were performed by friends Hannah King, 22, Emma Burles, 26 and Jordan McNulty, 21, who dived in to almost seven foot of rising water after the Mitsubishi Pajero became stuck.
Scott Swinford, 30, of Priory Avenue, Prittlewell, had been driving from Rayleigh with son Reece O’Reilly, eight, niece, Jessica Dobinson, six, and nephew, Alfie Dobinson, four, in the vehicle when the floods took hold. Amazingly, the vehicle sank beneath the water just 45 seconds after the occupants were pulled free through a window.
The three rescuers, who all knew each other from school, were hailed as heroes by the relieved dad, who was also helped to safety through a window.
He said: “It it had not been for them, we would have been stuck.
It doesn’t bear thinking about.
They were brilliant.” Other onlookers helped the heroes pull the children to safety while a resident from nearby Lime Court took in the trio and helped them warm up.
Mr Swinford added: “I wanted to get the kids back to Southend, but the police were shutting all the roads. I thought we would get under the bridge, but then as I tried to reverse, I had no control.
Luckily, I managed to open the windows before the power went.”
Rescuer Hannah had gone to watch the floodwater with pal Emma. Hannah said: “The Mitsubishi started to sink. We realised there were children on board, so jumped in and swam out. We could not open the doors because of the water pressure, but I managed to get in through the window and pass the children out to the others. The water was so deep I could not touch the floor.
“I just saw the children in the car and knew I had to help them.
My instincts took over.”
Rescuer Jordan McNulty’s flat overlooks the bridge. He had already helped three cars trapped in the floodwater when the Mitsubishi came along.
He said: “I had been keeping my eye on the bridge. I had already helped a lady in a silver car. I saw Hannah and Emma in the water and ran to help them – I was only wearing pyjama bottoms.
“I just kept trying to stay cheerful and reassure the children as I carried them out of the water because they were frightened. My girlfriend came with towels and everyone just pulled together to help them.”
Jordan’s girlfriend Leah Mears, 21, from Hockley, said: “Jordan had just got out of the shower.
I’ve never seen him run so fast! He ran outside with no top on and didn’t think twice before getting in the water and helping the children.
I’m so proud of him.”
Mr Swinford recovered his vehicle at about 11.30pm on Saturday.
He added: “I can’t thank them enough.”
Andrew Cause, 20, of White Hart Lane, Hockley, recorded the drama on video. He said: “ It was crazy. About 45 seconds after they got them out of the car it went under. Only the top of the roof was showing.”
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