Lucky escape for mum and 23-month-old baby

Nikki Birgit Campbell and daughter Rhea
Nikki Birgit Campbell and daughter Rhea

Police and members of the public in Castle Douglas have been praised for their bravery during an incident yesterday, (Tuesday, December 10).

Two officers responded to reports of two vehicles that had become submerged in flood water around 3.40pm at the Waterside, New Galloway following the torrential rain which had hit the area.

Upon arriving at the scene, the officers were assisted by Rob Little, a Drax employee, and a retired police officer to help rescue, Nikki Birgit Campbell, 36, and her daughter, Rhea, a 23-month-old toddler, who were trapped by the rising water following the bursting of the adjoining river.

A 73-year-old man also became trapped in a second vehicle and was rescued by Robert Peacock and Daniel Hunter, also from Drax’s Galloway Hydro plant.

Chief Inspector Bryan Lee said: “I cannot praise the two officers and the members of the public involved in these rescues enough.

“Their actions, which were nothing short of heroic, saved the lives of three people. Without their bravery this incident could have had a very different outcome.

“I have already personally thanked the officers involved but want to also publically thank the selfless actions of those men who stopped to help.

“Thankfully incidents like this are rare, however, it is extremely encouraging to know that members of our community came together, and were prepared to put themselves at risk to save those in need.”

Ms Campbell later posted an emotional video on Facebook thanking those who came to help her and Rhea, who were returning from a hospital appointment.

She said: “We drove a road that I have driven so many times, and it had never been a problem. I was just trying to keep Rhea safe.”

She described the men who rescued them as “heroes”. When they pulled her from the car, the water was chest height.

“Thank you to everyone who has shown concern and offered to help because we appreciate it so much.

“I’m still very, very scared and upset over what happened,” she added.

Once rescued, Ms Campbell and her daughter, were taken to Dumfries and Galloway Hospital.

Ian Kinnaird, Drax’s Head of Hydro said: “The quick thinking of the teams at our power stations, their swift response and professionalism helped to prevent these incidents resulting in tragedy – we’re very proud of what they did.”