Shropshire

Telford students describe Wales flooding rescue

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Media captionEmily Nickless and Leigh-Anne Wharton are rescued from their caravan - footage courtesy RAF

Two girls from Telford have described how they were winched to safety from their flooded caravan in Wales.

Emily Nickless and Leigh-Anne Wharton were rescued by an RAF Sea King helicopter from the caravan park in Landre, near Aberystwyth, on Saturday.

The A-Level students were staying by themselves on an overnight revision break.

Emily's granddad, Sam Nickless, called during the early hours to alert the girls after seeing flooding pictures on TV.

"My granddad just kept telling me to get out... I opened the door rather than looking out the window and the water was up to the door and I said to my granddad 'we're not going to get out'," Emily said.

Revision notes gone

Emily, aged 18, and Leigh-Ann, aged 17, decided that they would stay in the caravan and let the water in.

"The water was rising really fast, we know that if we had closed the door we wouldn't have got it back open again," said Emily.

The friends were rescued by a helicopter because the current in the river was too strong for lifeboats to get to them.

Image caption Leigh-Anne Wharton and Emily Nickless were staying by themselves on an overnight revision break

"We saw the force of the river with other people's decking and four or five sheds in front of the caravan...if we had stepped out we'd have gone straight under," Emily said.

The rescue took around 10 minutes, once attention was brought to their plight.

Leigh-Anne said the rescue team were dropped "down to the door" and once they had a harness fitted they were lifted up "straight away".

"We only went down for an overnight stay to revise for our A-Level exams this week so it was a bit shocking and the river took all of our A-Level notes," she said

Earlier this week, Wales's First Minister Carwyn Jones praised the "impressive bravery" of emergency crews who carried out rescues over the weekend.

Villages in Wales were flooded by 5ft (1.5m) of water with record high river levels in parts of Aberystwyth.

An estimated 150 were rescued, many from caravan parks. The clean-up has begun after water levels receded.

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