A LEIGH student has been praised for her work in helping residents in flooded parts of Cumbria.
Paige Mather, of Atherton, attends nearby Harper Adams University and along with other students who were members of the university’s 4x4 enthusiast off-road team, rescued a series of vehicles which were submerged in water.
The group were on an unofficial trip to the Lakes, where they planned to spend the weekend “green-laning” – driving along unsurfaced roads on which vehicles are permitted, but which are difficult or impossible for normal cars to use.
They had spent more than four hours rescuing fellow drivers and even stepping in to avoid a wedding being ruined.
Another student, Jack Thorman, 19, of Shropshire, said; “We stopped and came across a man in a Volkswagen stuck in the middle of the flood.
“We got him out of this mini-lake. I took him to Bowness and the others continued to save a few more people.
“We drove on and got to another section of road with more vehicles stranded in the middle. One car contained a whole family including a small baby.”
Paige, 19, said: “While everyone else was towing vehicles away, the rest of us were telling people not to drive in the water; that their cars were not suitable and they could flood their engines. Some people were glad to have us there but others got upset and didn’t think we knew what we were doing. It was great in Ambleside when cyclists were cheering us!”
The group all met up again at a third “road lake” where they found four cars and a tractor.
One of the drivers rescued on Saturday was Zoe Dixon, who had a wedding deadline to meet. She took to Facebook to thank the helpful students, writing: “Just wanted to say a huge thank you to all the lads and lasses from your uni who are up in the lakes. You were all amazing, helping not just us but many more who were stranded in the floods today in Windermere!”
The wet weekend heroes are keen to stress that everything they did is all part and parcel of being off-road enthusiasts. Paige added; “We’d never just drive past someone in a flood.”