Video: Children Rescued From Submerged 4x4 In Essex Floods

25/08/2013 19:09 | Updated 22 May 2015

Children Rescued After Car Becomes Trapped in Flood Water

This is the dramatic rescue of three children, who were pulled out of the window of a submerged 4x4 caught in flood water. Seconds after they were freed, the car disappeared under the water.

Scott Swinford, 30, from Southend, was driving underneath a railway bridge in Hockley, Essex, when his car was caught in a flash flood after more than a month's worth of rain fell in just a few hours yesterday.

A group of young locals - Daniel Salway, Hannah King, Jordan McNaulty, Rachel Burles, Emma Burles, Charlie Gibb and Smudge Carder - dashed into the freezing water to help when they saw Mr Swinford and three children trapped in the Mitsubishi Pajero.

They managed to pull Mr Swinford, his eight-year-old son Reece, his niece Jessica, six, and four-year-old nephew Alfie to safety just seconds before the entire car was submerged by water.

One of the quick-thinking rescuers, Hannah King, 21, said: "The water just swept the car along. We saw there was young children in the back and then a little girl stuck her head out of the window - that was it, we just swam in as we knew the car was going to sink.

"The first panic was we couldn't get the car doors open because of the water pressure on them and the windows were only half open, it was just awful."

The children were passed from the vehicle to three boys who also waded into the 6ft (1.8m) floodwater to help with the rescue. Mr Swinford was then helped out of the vehicle.

He said: "My 4x4 is like a monster truck, stands about 7ft (2.2m) high and is fitted with a snorkel exhaust. We'd already driven through some flooding, but as I went into this I thought 'It's deep' so put the car into reverse.

"I thought the motion of the wheels would drag us out, but we just started sinking. The water was coming in through the floor, air vents and windows."

Mr Swinford eventually recovered his vehicle by tow truck at 10.30pm when the water had subsided to just a few inches.

"I want to say a big thank you to everybody who helped us," he said.

Heavy flooding caused major disruption in south Essex throughout Saturday.

Essex Fire and Rescue dealt with more than 300 calls for help as the result of floods.

Hannah, a care assistant, told MailOnline: "I'm 5ft 2in and I couldn't touch the floor it was so deep.

"When we got to the car we could see the water was already up to the children's legs.

"The little girl was panicking because she couldn't get her seat-belt undone and the water was rising really quickly.

"We couldn't open the doors because of the water pressure so we helped them climb out the windows one by one.

"Because we couldn't touch the ground, once we got a child out we passed them on to another local Jordan McNulty who came down to help us.

"Once the children were safe we helped the father get out. Literally within a minute the car went under the water.

"I'm just glad we were there and able to get them out in time.'

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