Stranded youths begged for rescue
PANIC-STRICKEN youths dialled 999 and begged to be rescued from a water-logged island during a thunderstorm.Lightening stuck a tree just yards away from the terrified trio, as they were night fishing at Beachwater Lake in Chantry Park, Ipswich.
PANIC-STRICKEN youths dialled 999 and begged to be rescued from a water-logged island during a thunderstorm.
Lightening stuck a tree just yards away from the terrified trio, as they were night fishing at Beachwater Lake in Chantry Park, Ipswich.
Fearing for their safety and plunged in to total darkness when their torch battery gave up, the desperate group called the fire brigade.
The teenage boys, two aged 18 and one aged 15, had been fishing at the island, a popular spot for anglers, but the conditions quickly became dangerous.
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Fire officers received a call at 1.27am yesterday from one of the boys, and two crews used ladders to make a 10metre bridge across the pond and collect the youths. The boys were rescued by 2am and were shaken by their ordeal but were unhurt.
Karl Rolfe, assistant divisional officer for Suffolk Fire Brigade, said: "We had a very panicky call from the boys themselves on a mobile phone. "There had been a lightning strike very close to where they were, which had taken a tree out. They were terrified and struggling for light because their torch had given up and were beginning to feel more and more frightened.
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"Firefighters made a ten-metre long bridge with the ladders across the boggy, slippery ground and collected the boys.
"If they had had light and confidence, they probably would have managed to get themselves out but things were deteriorating quite quickly. They began to wonder what predicament they had got into."
It is believed the boys walked on to the island over a precarious timber walkway.
Max Stocker, spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council, today revealed that a number of fishing platforms would be built in the autumn to stop any similar incidents.
He said: "In a couple of months there is a £60,000 scheme to dredge the lake and build fishing platforms so there will be no need to get across to the island.
"We try to patrol the parks as best we can and we want to make things as safe as possible. We have a park warden but he cannot be on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. How can we stop people fishing late at night if it is an open park?"
The proposed platform will make fishing in the area safer and work will start in September and last a few months.
Mr Stocker added: "We would not recommend people trying to get across to the island, especially at night. We would hope people will put their own safety first and not take any unnecessary risks."
n Are you one of the teenagers who were rescued? Call the Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324789.