Boy in emergency quarry rescue

A MOTHER has thanked the emergency services after her son was saved from a disused quarry he had slipped into.

Caroline Jaine’s 12-year-old son Billy Botha was out looking for places to sledge with his friend James, when he slipped on ice, and fell 15 foot into the former chalk pit, known as the Clunch, in Litlington on Wednesday.

James rang Mrs Jaine, and she rushed to the scene. She tried to get him out of the freezing pit using a skipping rope and branches but he slipped further down.

Mrs Jaine then called the emergency services, and fire and rescue crews from Royston, Cambridgeshire and Gamlingay, police, and paramedics were sent.

An hour and a half later, a firefighter from Royston was tied to a rope and lowered down, and Billy grabbed onto him to be pulled to safety.

Mrs Jaine said: “I want to say thanks to the emergency services for their amazing response time, and for saving my son. And to James for raising the alarm.

“They saved him from a very dangerous situation which could have got worse. The treatment they gave him after was great – ensuring he didn’t have hypothermia or anything.”

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Billy, a pupil at Bassingbourn Village College was given a check up by paramedics from Cambridgeshire and the Hazardous Area Response Team based at Melbourn, and was able to go home with his mother.

Billy said: “At first it was a bit of a laugh, but it ended up being a painfully cold and frightening day. I would like to thank a police officer called Emma, who was very helpful.”

Royston fire station commander Sean Comerford, who attended the incident, said: “We were called out to what is called a rescue from depth. We were able to attach ropes to a tree and be lowered into the pit to grab hold of him, using equipment we have trained with.

“I would like to warn anyone walking or sledging that it can be dangerous if you don’t take care.”