Coldgate Mill, near Wooler

11 January 2021

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service requested the support of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Northumbria Police and Mountain Rescue on Monday evening. A van driver was stranded in the ford at Coldgate Mill, North Middleton to the south of Wooler.

Volunteer members from North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and ourselves were placed on standby, whilst our trained Flood & Swiftwater First Responders and Water Incident Managers closest to the incident were deployed. Team members supported the Fire Service led rescue, providing upstream spotters and helping with the tethered boat rescue from the bank side.

While plan A - a tethered boat rescue - was being implemented, our other flood and swiftwater trained members were called out to provide additional resources if plan B needed to be implemented. Thankfully plan A was a success and the driver was safely recovered to the bank side of the swollen Coldgate Water, meaning our other Team members were stood down almost immediately.

The incident was a great example of multiagency working, ably led by the Fire Incident Commander, in a very challenging and dangerous situation.

The incident involved 7 Team members for 2 hrs 20 minutes. A further 10 Flood & Swiftwater First Responder trained members were on standby before being called out very briefly.