Tour guide hero saves driver from 650ft drop into Lake District valley

Ruth Doherty
Tour guide hero saves driver from 650ft drop into Lake District valley
Tour guide hero saves driver from 650ft drop into Lake District valley

Stock photo, Tarn Hows, Lake District: PA

A tour guide has been hailed a hero after rescuing a driver and his car from a 650ft drop in the Lake District.

Mark Gascoigne was driving a full tour bus when he spotted the Honda CRV in trouble on a slippery grass verge.

Three of its passengers had managed to get out, but driver George Procter was still stuck.

Mr Gascoigne, 42, managed to attach a tow rope from his bus to the car, to stop it from dropping into the valley near the Tarn Hows beauty spot, near Coniton, Cumbria.

He then 'ordered' George to evacuate the car.

Mr Gascoigne told the Daily Mail: 'It was just like that scene from the Italian Job where the coach is hanging over the cliff edge.

'The Honda had one front wheel in the air, it was rocking and very unstable. The passengers who had already got out were all pretty shook up.

'After tying the tow rope from the bus to the car, I urged the driver to get out because it was still in a precarious position.

'But he was somewhat reluctant and I ended up virtually ordering him out.

'There's no doubt the car was in danger of plunging over the edge.

'If it had carried on down the hill there would have been serious injuries or worse.'

Mr Procter explained how the accident happened on the single-track road overlooking the Yewdale Valley. 'I had reversed to get out of the way of another vehicle, but then got on to wet grass and the car spun round.

'It was pretty unnerving when we dropped back. We didn't know where we were going to stop, it all happened very quickly.'

The car was not damaged and the group were able to carry on their sightseeing drive.

Meanwhile, Mr Gascoigne's heroics have been praised by everyone from the National Trust, to the foreign passengers who were in his tour bus, one of whom, Tess Torres, wrote him an email saying: 'It was a pleasure to watch you today running to the aid of the poor folks who ran into trouble.

'What I found amazing is you didn't hesitate a second. You were moving before I ever knew what happened.'