Wednesday, May 13, 2009

PENSIONER TELLS OF CAR SEA PLUNGE

Robert Wilson (L), Margaret Wilson(R) (Pic: Jamie McIvor)
Robert Wilson told BBC Scotland news website that he got a "fright" when his car accidentally landed in the Firth of Forth

A 79-year-old driver has told of the moment his car plunged off a pier into the sea during a visit to South Queensferry to view the Forth bridges.

Robert Wilson, from Accrington in Lancashire, had taken his daughter and two friends to Long Craig Pier when he accidently drove off it on Tuesday.

He told BBC Scotland news website he was doing a three point turn when they shot forward and landed in the sea.

They managed to open the Mondeo's doors in the sea and reach the shore.

The submerged car
The car fell 15ft off the pier into the water

The incident happened just after 1800 BST while Mr Wilson was taking his daughter, Phillipa Fielden, who had travelled over from Australia for a nursing conference with two friends, out for her 44th birthday.

The retired electrical engineer said: "We were viewing the bridges and I was turning the car round when we went forward into the sea.

"There were no railings or safety barriers.

"It all happened so quickly and the sea was up to the roof of the car. We were up to our necks in the water, we got a fright.

"It happened all in a flash but thankfully nobody was hurt."

Coastguard with the submerged car
The couple were helped to safety by the RNLI

Mr Wilson and his wife Margaret are on holiday and are staying at his son-in-law, David Reid's house in Plewlandcroft, South Queensferry.

Mrs Wilson said her husband was still recovering from his ordeal.

Queensferry Coastguard rescue team rescued arrived on the scene to help them.

The car had fallen 15ft off the pier into the water.

Forth Coastguard was contacted at 1807 BST on Tuesday by a member of the public reporting the car in the water.

The car began floating away on the rising tide and Queensferry RNLI lifeboat recovered the vehicle to prevent it becoming a hazard to vessels in the Firth of Forth. It is understood to be secured but still in the water.

"These people were very lucky. They were very shocked," said a spokesman for Forth Coastguard.

BBC NEWS REPORT.

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