England

Amazon rescuers find ravine crash couple

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Media captionLesley Norris and Bruce Scott contacted their relatives in East Sussex

Brazilian rescuers have found a British couple whose vehicle crashed into a ravine in the Amazon jungle.

Lesley Norris and Bruce Scott clambered up the ravine and alerted relatives in England by mobile phone after the crash 200 miles from Manaus in Brazil.

Ms Norris told the BBC she thought their time was up and did not know how they escaped with just minor bruising.

The London couple, in their 60s, have been travelling around South America in a Unimog motor home for four years.

Ms Norris said: "To be perfectly honest when it went off the bridge I thought 'well my god, this is it'.

"I think Bruce grabbed me because I was on the side that actually slid down. I don't know how we managed to escape with so little injury."

Her partner added: "As we started to cross it [the bridge], it just crashed, it went down into the ravine and it was a bridge too far.

"It was terrifying as we were going down, but then thank god nobody was hurt - a couple of bruises that's all."

'In good shape'

The rescue operation began after Ms Norris called her sister 5,000 miles away in Eastbourne, Sussex. Relatives then phoned UK coastguards who alerted the Brazilian authorities.

Coastguards in Falmouth, Cornwall, said they were "very happy" that the rescue had been successful.

A spokesman said: "We are used to worldwide rescues, the unusual thing is this involved a vehicle accident."

The stricken couple, from Teddington, south-west London, told coastguards that a track, road or bridge collapsed underneath their vehicle, forcing them into the ravine.

Image caption Bruce Scott and Lesley Norris travelled through Mexico, Panama and Ecuador before the Amazon

They were taken to a hospital in Manaus for a check-up.

They both appeared to be "in good shape," a consulate spokesman told the AFP news agency, adding that a consular officer in Manaus was extending any help they required.

The Brazilian army has said that it will recover the vehicle.

The couple travelled through Mexico, Panama and Ecuador before heading for the Amazon.

Their Tread The World website says that Ms Norris was an air stewardess for more than 20 years and has travelled extensively throughout the world.

It says Mr Scott is a professional photographer with a "passion for world travel".

He visited the Amazon in 1974 and then one year later escorted and drove several tour groups through Africa.

After working in London for the past 20 years as a photographer he decided to "take a risk", sold his studio flat in West Kensington and invested in the Unimog.

It adds that he is trained on a London Transport Routemaster double decker and "his driving skills are well up to the mark".

Friend John Brooke said the crash would not put the couple off their adventure.

He said: "They are resilient people and I think you have to be to make that sort of journey."

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