Helicopter rescue for stranded newly-weds

Steve and Greta Dobson'w114014
Steve and Greta Dobson'w114014

A COUPLE on honeymoon in Whitby certainly had one to remember when the new bride broke her arm and had to be airlifted off the beach in a race against the tide.

Steve and Greta Dobson were taking a stroll near the beach at Staithes just days into their honeymoon when Greta slipped on the rocks, breaking her arm and hurting her back.

But they struggled to call for help because Steve couldn’t get a mobile phone signal and he had to wade into the sea away from the cliffs so he could make the emergency call.

Because an ambulance couldn’t get near, the Great North Air Ambulance was called out but that struggled to land on the beach because the tide was coming in.

Steve said: “We were a good half a mile from Staithes and the tide was out.

“We have been here lots of times before and not fallen over but Greta’s foot went from under her.

“I couldn’t get a signal so I walked straight out to sea, it took them at least 15 minutes to find out where we were.”

In the meantime, he made a sling using his shirt and while the newly-weds were sat waiting for help to arrive they could see dust rolling off the cliffs and feared there was going to be a landslide.

When the coastguard found them, the daring rescue began.

Steve added: “When he landed he blew the water away from where he was.

“They need a great big thank you because they grafted that morning.

“The paramedics and air ambulance did an amazing amount of work to get her off the beach.”

Greta knew straight away she had broken her arm but can’t recall much else of the action.

She told the Whitby Gazette: “I got up and my arm was wiggling about but I couldn’t feel it.

“I think I was in shock but then it started to hurt.

“All I remember is the pilot and the roof of the helicopter.

“They gave me a really strong sedative, it was my first helicopter ride and I don’t remember anything.”

That wasn’t the end of the drama though.

While it took the aircraft just 10 minutes to get to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, Steve had to make the hour journey by road.

When he got back to the car which was in the car park at Staithes he had been given a parking ticket and then he lost his cash card in the hospital.

He said: “I was totally calm at the time but when I thought about it afterwards I realised how close a call it was and it was a relief to see a pair of green overalls.

“Years ago I worked with a road traffic accident crew and dealt with fatalities on the roadside but when it I somebody you know, it is different.”

The couple, who are from Kirkham in Lancashire, returned home on Friday following an eventful week and Greta might need an operation to fix the break but they haven’t been put off from coming back.

Steve added: “We have been here many a time before and will definitely come back, we will just be a bit more careful.

“We have walked miles down there in the past an never had a problem, it was just a freak accident but it has certainly made it a memorable honeymoon.”

The couple plan to make a donation to the Great North Air Ambulance which relies on such funding to operate.