Monday 19 March 2018

Sorry to call, we're trapped in the jungle

Victoria Ward and James Orr in London

STRANDED beside a ravine in the remote Amazonian jungle, Bruce Scott and Lesley Norris turned to an unlikely saviour: their friend Ken in Eastbourne, England.

Thankfully, the couple, who sold-up five years ago to go on a South American adventure, had taken a satellite phone with them. When a bridge collapsed as they drove across a ravine, 320km from civilisation, in Brazil, they discovered what a good decision that had been.

After scrambling free of their overturned vehicle, they spent two days without seeing another soul. Eventually, Ms Norris (64) resorted to calling Ken, her sister's partner, 8,000km away in East Sussex on the south coast of England, and he triggered a global rescue operation.

After she gave him GPS co-ordinates of their location, Ken contacted Dover Coastguard, which, in turn, called Falmouth Coastguard, an international liaison centre.

The alert was subsequently raised in Brazil, where a rescue helicopter took off at first light yesterday. The couple were then airlifted 320km to Manaus.

Yesterday night Ken said that Ms Norris and Mr Scott were "uninjured but shaken up".

"I got a call from their satellite phone saying they'd had this accident in the middle of nowhere and they didn't know what to do," he said.

"The fortunate thing was that because they had this GPS phone, it gave them their co-ordinates.

"My part in this was to make a few phone calls, that was all. I'm glad they've been rescued and really, the heroes are the coastguard and the authorities in Brazil." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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