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Off-duty RAF Marham team risk their lives to rescue motorist from Austrian ravine crash

RAF Marham ANL-160120-080428009
RAF Marham ANL-160120-080428009

A “courageous” team from RAF Marham risked there lives to perform a dramatic life-saving rescue while off-duty in Austria.

As the group returned from a week’s adventurous training in Austria, they witnessed a road traffic accident about 20 metres from their coach.

Immediately the service personnel went to the assistance of driver and his passenger. The driver was able to leave the vehicle, but the passenger was trapped and the vehicle which had left the road at speed, had crashed into a small ravine with a river at the bottom.

The vehicle was wedged between trees on one side and the river’s bridge on the other, at a 45⁰ angle towards the river and severely damaged.

The group from RAF Marham quickly surveyed the situation and a team comprising of Sgt Davey and Senior Aircraftman (SAC) MacRae, set to helping the passenger.

Sgt Davey conducted an initial assessment of the casualty by utilising the Austrian coach driver to overcome the language barrier. As the passengers responses began to decline SAC MacRae (an RAF Firefighter) bravely climbed over the bridge railing to carryout out a further assessment of the casualty and continue to reassure him in the vehicle.

They observed the casualty’s condition was deteriorating; the temperature at the scene of the incident was below zero, about -9⁰C, and after a seizure; his breathing could not be detected.

SAC MacRae took hold of the casualty, removed him from the vehicle and passed him to those assisting him onto the bridge.

SAC MacRae handed over to his colleagues led by Sgt Davey, who was first aid trained but not a professional medic. Just before CPR was to commence Sgt Davey noticed that the passenger was breathing.

Flight Sergeant Shiach OIC, RAF Marham Winter Sports, said: “The events which unfolded on Saturday morning, demonstrated the immediate courageous and decisive actions of the many RAF personnel on the coach.

“I witnessed their training, initiative and the requirements to do the right thing; this undoubtedly has gone someway in saving the passenger and driver of the vehicle.

“Sgt Davey and SAC MacRae the Marham participants involved in the care of the driver and passenger could have stood on the side lines but chose to get involved.

“Follow-up reports from Austria have indicated the driver and passenger, who spent a considerable time in hospital, will both make a full recovery.”

When the emergency services arrived, the group handed over and continued their way home.

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