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Ambulance crew take to the water after man collapses aboard canal boat in Lichfield

An ambulance crew used an unusual mode of transport to treat a patient in Lichfield.

They were called at 9.40am yesterday (June 26) to reports of a man piloting a narrowboat on the Coventry Canal collapsing near Huddlesford.

Other canal users had brought the boat to the side of the waterway, but with paramedic Chris Tunncliffe and technician Simon Poole unable to get their vehicle to the scene, they used a different mode of transport.

Chris said: “We got the ambulance to as close to the location as we could but we still had to walk for about half a mile to the narrow boat where we found the patient, a 68-year-old man, who had by this point come round.

“After assessing him we realised that we needed some additional equipment so while I carried on treating the patient, Simon went to get the kit.”

Simon added: “I was about to start walking when I managed to catch a lift on another boat that was heading in that direction and got a lift back to the ambulance.

“While I moved the ambulance to another bridge which was closer, Simon was making use of another narrowboat to start heading in my direction bringing the patient closer to the vehicle.”

Chris said: “Our patient had low blood pressure and some other existing conditions which meant he needed to go to hospital so going by boat was definitely the easiest way to move him.

“We can’t thank the many boat users enough for all of their help and also their actions in stopping the patient’s boat in the first place. They really seem to be a community and keen to help each other out which is great to see.”

The patient was taken to Burton Queens Hospital for further assessment.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.