A man was dramatically rescued after the car he was travelling in became trapped at a County Durham ford as the river was “rapidly rising”.

Firefighters were called at 2:10pm this afternoon (Wednesday, October 26) to the Westgate Ford, near Stanhope, in Weardale, after a person in a Volkswagen got into difficulties. 

Crews from Consett, Middleton & Teesdale, and Bishop Auckland, as well as a boat rescue team from Bishop Auckland, responded to the incident.

A spokesperson for the County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said: "With the water rising rapidly within the car, our fantastic crews got to work quickly and used working at height equipment to get on top of the car and gain contact with the casualty.

"Firefighter Connor Scott then put the casualty into a harness and was pulled to safety by our firefighters.

"Thanks to the swift response of our crews, the occupant sustained no major injuries."

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The Northern Echo:

Station manager Michael Pearson said: "He (the man) was trying to drive across the ford but obviously realised too late it was a mistake.

"We would like to take this opportunity to remind people that this time of year presents several driving-related issues, one of which is the suitability of routes that use fords when water levels could be higher or more powerful than normal.

"Please consider alternative routes if your usual journey would involve a ford during the winter months."

Mr Pearson added the Durham Police and North East Ambulance Service were in attendance.

The Northern Echo:

The Northern Echo: Car trapped at Westgate FordCar trapped at Westgate Ford (Image: CDDFRS)

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