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Brancaster man rescued by police drone thanks officers who saved him

PUBLISHED: 11:40 26 July 2018

Sgt Danny Leach from the drone unit with Peter Pugh at the Norfolk Police headquarters in Wymondham Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Sgt Danny Leach from the drone unit with Peter Pugh at the Norfolk Police headquarters in Wymondham Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

A man who went missing after getting stuck in marshes overnight paid a visit to the police officers who saved him.

Peter Pugh, 75, had been walking with his family along Brancaster beach on Saturday, June 16 when he became separated from them at around 5.10pm.

Norfolk police, assisted by HM Coastguard, Hunstanton and Wells Inshore Lifeboat and Norfolk Lowland and Search Service, searched throughout the night for Mr Pugh.

More than 20 hours later, a Norfolk Police drone, piloted by Sergeant Danny Leach, spotted Mr Pugh waist-deep in water at Titchwell Marsh.

In a remarkable rescue mission, the footage helped to guide a team from HM Coastguard and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service through the dense reed beds and marshland to reach Mr Pugh.

Peter Pugh meeting call handler Tracey Eales in the contact and control room (CCR) Picture: Norfolk ConstabularyPeter Pugh meeting call handler Tracey Eales in the contact and control room (CCR) Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

He was air-lifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn where he was treated for hypothermia and slashes on his arms and legs, but since the ordeal he has been able to make a full recovery.

In order to show his gratitude to those who rescued him, he paid a visit to the Norfolk Police headquarters in Wymondham with his wife Felicity Pugh, 73, on Wednesday, July 25.

“We were there thanking everybody,” Mrs Pugh said. “It was so interesting and lovely to meet the people who found pleasure in getting involved with something that had a good outcome.”

Peterr Pugh meeting and shaking hands with Deputy Chief Constable Nick Dean Picture: Norfolk ConstabularyPeterr Pugh meeting and shaking hands with Deputy Chief Constable Nick Dean Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

The couple were able to meet with Sgt Danny Leach, Deputy Chief Constable Nick Dean and call handler Tracey Eales before being shown the drone footage which saved Mr Pugh’s life. 
“It was really eye-opening,” said Mrs Pugh. “You could see them cradling Peter’s face and he didn’t know what was going on.”

A post on the Norfolk Police Twitter account said: “Last month our police drone helped find Peter Pugh who was missing and stuck in Titchwell marshes for almost 24 hours.

“Today Mr Pugh came into Police HQ to thank some of the team involved in the rescue mission. We were pleased to see he has fully recovered!”

Peter Pugh and his wife, Felicity, watching the drone rescue footage Picture: Norfolk ConstabularyPeter Pugh and his wife, Felicity, watching the drone rescue footage Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Inspector Lou Provart added: “Great he got to meet my team who was on duty in the CCR when this happened. Glad we managed to coordinate the response to find him.”

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