A new mother has thanked a ‘true gentleman’ lorry driver who carried her car over a flooded road while she was in labour.
Pregnant Kelly Brinkman was stranded in her car in 1.2m of sea water on The Strood Causeway on Mersea Island, Essex, last Thursday.
But she was rescued by lorry driver Justin Tacey, 45, who put her car on his vehicle to drive across the water.
Her baby girl was later born in hospital by an emergency Caesarian section.
Ms Brinkman and her partner, Paolo Pereira, had tried desperately to get off the island when she went into labour but the tide wouldn’t recede.
West Mersea Coastguard paid tribute to Mr Tacey in a Facebook post.
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It posted a picture of the flooded causeway with the message: ‘We would like to thank the driver of an Emmitt low-loader who assisted us with a lady-in-labour and her partner by putting their car on his lorry and driving (very slowly) over the flooded Strood causeway today to get her to hospital. A true gentleman.’
Commenting on the same post, Ms Brinkman thanked her rescuer.
She said: ‘I just wanted to say a massive thank you for what you did for us on Thursday.
’It turns out the baby was breech and I was almost fully dilated so had to have an emergency caesarean, if it wasn’t for you getting us across there’s a very high chance that it could have been a very different story being told now, especially as the midwife wasn’t on the island as we previously thought.
‘We had a little girl Lillie, 7lb 13oz, she’s doing extremely well so far.
‘We will be forever grateful for what you did for us.’
She later told the BBC: ‘I am just so grateful to Justin. He probably saved the baby’s life because she was in a breech position and well on her way. The only way to save her was a Caesarean section.
‘We have named her Lillie and she is now fine but always hungry and joins her sister Olivia.’
Mr Tacey, who works at the Emmitt Plant in Diss, Norfolk, said:’”I had been on Mersea delivering to a holiday camp and was waiting for the coastguards to let us cross.
‘I noticed a man looking panicky on the phone and we got chatting. He said his partner was in labour and he was worried as it looked like a long wait for the tide to go down.
‘I spoke to the coastguard team and said the couple’s Ford Kuga could go on the back of the lorry and I would carry them across.
‘It took about five minutes to cross the half mile causeway slowly and carefully.’
(Main picture: Kelly Brinkman/Facebook)