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20 October 2014, 06:35
Firefighters say an elderly woman is 'lucky to be alive' after she was pulled from a ditch near Romsey.
The woman, in her 70s, was discovered submerged in mud and water by a passing dog walker near Oakley Lane, Mottisfont, at around 11am yesterday morning (19 October). Crews say she had become stranded and exhausted in remote countryside.
She was taken to hospital with hypothermia.
It is believed the woman's car had become stuck in mud down a track and her efforts to release the car had left her exhausted and immersed in the mud herself.
It took fire, police and ambulance crews some time to locate the casualty due to the remoteness of her location and they needed specialist off-road vehicles to reach her. It is thought she had been stuck for several hours.
Fire crews assisted medical teams with her release and recovery. She was taken to Southampton General Hospital suffering from the effects of hypothermia.
Crew Manager Pete McClemont, from Romsey fire station, said the incident had demonstrated the importance of making proper preparations for any trip into countryside areas.
"This woman was incredibly lucky she was found and she was able to receive medical treatment before her condition deteriorated.
"If you are going out in the country, always make sure you let someone know where you are going and an idea of how long you intend to be out. Ideally, try and take someone with you if possible.
"The weather has been also quite wet in the last week, so people should be aware the ground could be boggier than they might expect. It is always worth checking weather forecasts and planning routes before setting off.
"If your vehicle does become stuck in mud or water, call for help. Trying to move it could result in making the situation worse.
"Locating and treating a casualty in situations like this also demands a large emergency service response.
"It was only thanks to the persistence of our crews, the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) from South Central Ambulance Service and the police, along with some help from National Trust wardens, that we were able to resolve this incident."