Dramatic rescue after bridge collapse throws shooting party into swollen beck (From The Northern Echo)
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Dramatic rescue after bridge collapse throws shooting party into swollen beck
MEMBERS of a shooting party told last night how they jumped into a swollen beck to rescue two men when the bridge they were crossing suddenly collapsed.
The group were shooting pheasants at High Askew, near Cropton on the North York Moors, when the metal footbridge on private land gave way just before 3pm yesterday.
Two men were thrown into the Hartoft Beck, and were pulled from the water by other members of the party, who gave them first aid until the emergency services arrived.
Both the Yorkshire and Great North Air Ambulances were called to the scene.
A 65-year-old man from the York area was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough with a head injury and a suspected broken arm.
The other man, in his fifties, was taken by ambulance to Scarborough Hospital.
James Wood, 32, son of shoot organiser Michael Wood, said he jumped into the water to help rescue the men.
"The bridge just went, but it happened very quickly," he said. "No indication, it just went. It's been there for a long time, and we've crossed it thousands of times.
"I jumped in and got one of them out. Everyone did very well though.
"The ambulance and emergency services were there very quickly, and did excellent work. They were superb."
Michael Wood, of Westfield Farm, Cropton, said: "We don't know exactly what happened.
"The problem was they fell off the bridge on to the biggest rock in the river, and they fell right onto that.
"One of the men was walking but he was bleeding from his head.
"This sort of thing has never happened before. It's a total one-off. I'm absolutely gobsmacked, I couldn't believe it could happen."
A Great North Air Ambulance spokesman said: "Both men had sustained head injuries. Although they had been recovered from the water, both were soaked through when our doctor and paramedic team arrived on scene.
"Other emergency services on scene had already prepared the patients for transfer and, after an assessment by the doctor, our crew flew the more seriously injured to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
"As well as a head injury, the man, a 65-year-old from the York area, had sustained a suspected broken arm."
The Yorkshire Ambulance Service sent two ambulances, a rapid response vehicle and a clinical supervisor in addition to the two air ambulances.
North Yorkshire County Council said it was trying to find out who owned the bridge.
John Clark, Ryedale District Councillor for Cropton, who lives a mile away from where it happened, said: "I have never known the river going up and down like it has over the last month.
"It has been scouring away all sorts of places."
In 2010, 53-year-old Vanessa Robson, from East Yorkshire, died after her Land Rover got caught in a ford across Hartoft Beck, less than a mile away from yesterday's incident. The beck was in flood at the time after several days of heavy rain and snow.