A HUNTINGDON man was found clinging to a tree after being chased by police through marshland for up to an hour. Police from two counties embarked on the perilous manhunt through undergrowth in search of a Huntingdon man and woman alleged to be involved in
A HUNTINGDON man was found clinging to a tree after being chased by police through marshland for up to an hour.
Police from two counties embarked on the perilous manhunt through undergrowth in search of a Huntingdon man and woman alleged to be involved in a series of armed robberies.
The drama unfolded on Saturday when a 43-year-old man travelling along the A1101 Wisbech to Littleport road towards Upwell at 10pm failed to stop for police.
Later, the vehicle overturned near Welney Wash and the man ran into the marshland.
A helicopter was deployed and thermal imaging equipment was used to locate the fugitive who had crawled through undergrowth for up to an hour.
A Norfolk dog handler who led the manhunt, which also involved officers from Cambridgeshire police, said: "As the tracker, I went into the water first with my dog and the other two followed.
"I thought it would just be up to our knees, so I jumped in and ended up in thick sludge up to my neck.
"It was freezing cold and our protective clothing and belt rings were weighing us down and there were a few times we thought we were in trouble, but the adrenaline took over."
After more than 55 minutes in the water, the officers found the man holding onto a tree. The suspect passed out and the officers had to drag themselves and the fugitive out of the water.
The officer added: "We were completely exhausted. The dog was exhausted and panicky, so he was on my shoulders and we kept sinking and sinking.
"But eventually we found a bit of higher ground."
The man and the officers were all taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn ,for treatment for hypothermia. The officers have been praised for their bravery.
The suspect was arrested in connection with a series of armed robberies that took
place in Norfolk and he was released on bail pending further inquires.
A 24-year-old woman who was driving the car suffered minor injuries and was treated by paramedics at the scene.
She was also arrested and was released on bail pending further inquires.
On Monday, police conducted underwater searches of the River Delph and also searched a property in Huntingdon.
INFORMATION: Anyone with information relating to the incident is asked to contact Cambridgeshire police on 0845 4564564 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.