I was shocked to hear on the local news the other day of an incident that happened in the floods we in the UK are experiencing at the moment.
The article can be read here Coughton Ford.
Luckily those involved escaped with the help of the emergency services, but it could have been a totally different and tragic outcome.
Coughton Ford is a couple of miles from where I live. It is a very picturesque place and when my girls were young, we’d often take them down there on a warm summer day so they could paddle in the river Arrow.
T and me with our eldest daughter, these two photos were taken sometime in the mid 70’s.
On the photo with me on, we are standing on the edge of the road, which is just visible in front of us, so as you can see, in normal situations the ford is quite shallow.
In more recent years, when I used to go green laning with the Discovery club, it was a perfect place to wash the mud off the tyres at the end on the day. I’ve even know some folk, take a bucket and brush with them to give their motor a spruce up.
This was taken not long after I got my first discovery. It is several still shots stitched together and made into an animated gif format.
The river was slightly higher than the previous two photos, but the road is still visible and was perfectly safe to cross, even for a standard motor.
There are two other routes available within a short distance if you need to get from one side of the river to the other, neither involve crossing it by a ford.
The river Arrow is quite a fast flowing river, and I personally would not attempt to cross it anywhere near Land Rover’s recommended maximum wading height, which if my memory serves me right is around twenty inches.
Coughton Ford floods quite often after heavy rain, and I’ve often driven down there to take photographs.
On one occasion in July 2007 I was doing just that.
This was taken on the foot bridge crossing the river. My camera is pointing in the same direction as the start of the above gif. The road now being totally submerged.
I hadn’t been there long, when I heard what I thought was a Land Rover approaching. I didn’t for one minute expect anyone to drive through, but went down to the rivers edge just in case.
Just in time to capture the motor entering the river.
The river is flowing from left to right in this photo, he approached at a slight angle, I’m guessing in the hope to keep the front (and obviously heaviest part of the motor) pointing downstream.
It wasn’t long before the power of the water had started to push the rear end round, and he’d started to drift across with the flow. He made it safely across, probably through his skilful driving, but a few more inches to the right he’d have dropped down another six inches and off the road completely.
Back to the news story I’ve linked to above.
What I just don’t understand is what on earth possessed three pensioners in a Vauxhall Corsa to try and cross this raging torrent. From the images on the news, the river looked even deeper than my photos.
It was a totally avoidable incident which put even more pressure on the struggling emergency services in the area.
DON’T MESS WITH FLOOD WATER!!!!!!!