Pregnant mum and partner stuck in high tide rescued by Diss lorry driver

Lillie Rose Maria Pereira, born at Colchester after help from a stranger to get her and mum over the Strood at Mersea, now at home with Mum Kelly Brinkman sister Olivia and dad Paulo Brinkman. Picture: SWNS.
Lillie Rose Maria Pereira, born at Colchester after help from a stranger to get her and mum over the Strood at Mersea, now at home with Mum Kelly Brinkman sister Olivia and dad Paulo Brinkman. Picture: SWNS.
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A heroic lorry driver from Diss said he did what ‘anyone else would have done’ after rescuing a pregnant mum and her partner stuck on a causeway at high tide.

Kelly Brinkman, 32, along with her partner Paulo Pereira, 31, became stranded in labour as water submerged the Strood crossing in Essex, making it impossible for her to cross the causeway.

Justin Tacey, from Diss, at work for Emmitt Plant Ltd. on the low loader that he managed to help Kelly Brinkman. Picture: SWNS.

Justin Tacey, from Diss, at work for Emmitt Plant Ltd. on the low loader that he managed to help Kelly Brinkman. Picture: SWNS.

The couple thought they had plenty of time with high tide not due for another 30 minutes – but found it impossible for their Ford Kuga to cross. Luckily, they were spotted by low loader driver Justin Tacey, 45, who rigged their car on to the back of his lorry and braved the flood.

After making it on to dry land, the couple raced, to Colchester General Hospital, Essex, where Kelly gave birth to Lillie Rose Maria Pereira minutes later – weighing a healthy 7lb 13oz.

Jason, a father-of-four himself, said: “I was just doing what anyone else would have done. I had the means to do it and so I couldn’t have just left her there.”

Kelly, who is also mum to Olivia, six, said: “The only thing I can think of is Justin was just meant to be there. Thinking about it now, we could be telling a completely different story were it not for him.

I had the means to do it and so I couldn’t have just left her there

Justin Tacey

“From the moment we got over, I don’t think we even met a traffic light and when I arrived at the hospital, I was 9cm dilated and they took me straight in.”

Kelly, from Mersea Island, Essex, was four days past her due date when she realised she was in labour on Thursday, December 4. She had her bags packed ready and was advised by midwives to go straight to the hospital because of the possibility of a high tide.

“It was like a God send,” Kelly added. “We don’t often see massive trucks like that on the island so for Justin to have been there at the right place and the right time seemed like divine intervention.”