Teenage anglers midnight storm terror
THREE teenage anglers caught out by freak storm have spoken of their terror as their midnight fishing trip hit disaster.Ipswich youngsters Daniel Page and Nicholas and Mark Legane had to be rescued by firefighters as a tree struck by lightning came crashing down and waters rose perilously high on a island in at Beachwater lake at Chantry Park.
THREE teenage anglers caught out by freak storm have spoken of their terror as their midnight fishing trip hit disaster.
Ipswich youngsters Daniel Page and Nicholas and Mark Legane had to be rescued by firefighters as a tree struck by lightning came crashing down and waters rose perilously high on a island in at Beachwater lake at Chantry Park.
Sticken with panic, the trio called 999 on a mobile phone when their torches gave out and they were plunged into darkness.
"We didn't know a storm was coming," said Nicholas, 18, of Poppy Close. "We went across the island and fished until 12.30am and then the storm came down and hit the tree. We were all shaking big time."
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The tree had fallen within inches of where the boys were sitting on the island - a popular spot for anglers.
"All we could hear was the creaking and then it came crashing down. Nicholas bolted, I tripped over my soup box and Mark just legged it," said shop assistant Daniel, 18, of Poppy Close, describing the terrifying moment the tree came toppled to the ground.
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For fifty minutes the rain lashed down and the water level began to rise. Their torch batteries eventually died out and particularly concerned about the state of mind of Nicholas, who sufferes from learning disabilities, ex-Chantry High pupil Daniel decided to call the fire brigade.
"We were trying to keep Nicholas calm," he said. "He was aboslutely terrified and I was trying to keep him calm at the same time as talk to the fire officer on the phone."
Under his instruction, Daniel cleared away all the rods and other metal objects under one umbrella while the trio of anglers huddled together under another as far away as possible form the metal objects which could have acted as lethal lightning conductors.
When they arrived a few minutes later - although Daniel, also known as ''Danny', said it felt "like hours" - firefighters threw them a lifeline by constructing a 10m bridge with ladders.
They had got on to the island over a precarious timber walkway.
Forming a human chain they coaxed all three back to dry land, giving them warm words of encouragement and particularly helping Nicholas cope with the ordeal.
"I thought they were absolutely," said Daniel, thanking them. "They were really good with Nicholas too. They were really positive."
His brother Mark, a pupil at Chantry High who has been fishing with the other two for three years, said: "We just wanted to get off that island. Nothing like that happened before. I'm glad we got off there."