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VIDEO: Woman Dies After Car Plunges Into River Fal

ferry rescue
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6:25am 22nd March 2013
(Updated 6:25am 22nd March 2013)

A body has been pulled from the River Fal after a car plunged down the slipway that leads to the King Harry ferry.

It happened on the Roseland side of the crossing at around four o'clock on Wednesday afternoon as it waited to board.

It sparked a desperate bid to save the woman in her seventies.

Local diver Matt Vernon rushed to the scene and plunged into the freezing water without oxygen. He repeatedly made it down some thirty feet deep to try to pull her to safety.

He told Pirate FM: "I was getting down there and trying to open the doors or smash a window - and it just wasn't happening.

"I tried to get a line on because the fire crew were there, so they could try to tow the vehicle out. Because it was deep, it was dark, it was muddy and because I can't hold my breath for that long when I'm down at that depth, it was just really, really impossible."

RNLI teams and the Culdrose chopper were all scrambled alongside police, fire and ambulance crews.

Two hours later the car had been winched out and was being checked over. Two dogs also died.

It is thought that the male driver had got out to take a photo when the car slipped into the water with his wife still inside.

Inspector Richard Hockin said it seemed to be a very sad and unfortunate accident: "We treat this as a road traffic investigation. That will involve taking witness statements from people that were there and talking to the husband who was with his wife at the time. We're providing family support for him at this time. We also need to look at the vehicle to make sure there are no faults with it and try to get a full picture of exactly what's gone on before we jump to any conclusion.

"Our thoughts are very much with the family at the moment."

Tim Light, managing director of the King Harry Ferry, which was on the other side of the river at the time, said: "Our thoughts are with the family at this time.

"I would like to give a personal thanks to the ferry team who supported the emergency services with the operation during this difficult time."

Police are appealing for witnesses with any information to call them on 101 quoting log number 456 20/03/13.

6:25am 22nd March 2013

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