Grannie thanks firefighters for ferris wheel rescue

Grannie thanks firefighters for ferris wheel rescue

Crews were "amazing" says rescued grandmother
22 September 2016

A grandmother has thanked the “amazing” firefighters who rescued her and her grandson from a ferris wheel that left the pair stranding 35ft in the air.

Frances Crouch, 53, and her six year old grandson Jack Whitmore were stuck for more than an hour in a pod at the top of Solent Wheel in Portsmouth before crews could free them.

After the rescue Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service invited the pair to visit them at Southsea Fire Station where Jack got to dress up in kit and sit in a real fire engine.

The Gosport grandmother, who has a fear of heights, said:

“I didn’t really want to go on the ride but I let Jack talk me into it.

“It was terrifying stuck up there particularly as my grandson was with me so I was worried about his safety.

“My biggest fear was that we would have to come down on a giant ladder but the firefighters called me on my mobile phone and reassured me that they were going to get us out and that I would not have to climb down a ladder.

“They were just amazing. They did a fantastic job both in reassuring me and the rescue. It is great to know there are people like that out there when things go wrong.”

Crews from Southsea, Cosham and St Mary’s helped the pair down with the aerial ladder platform.

Crew Manager Richard Furse said:

“We went up and opened the pod manually. It was quite straight forward for us.

"We didn’t really get to chance to talk to the lady after the rescue so it was great to see her again at the station.

“We could see the little boy was smiling and seemed to be having a great time during the rescue.”

Jack may have already had some insight into the work of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service however, as his great uncle is fire investigation officer and dog handler Graham Howlett.

Firefighter Howlett said:

"I only heard about it after it happened and I can't thank the crews enough.

"It is reassuring for me that I know how well trained and dedicated they are and that Frances and Jack were always in extremely safe hands."

Frances and Jack meet firefighters
Frances and Jack meet firefighters