Man, 72, arrested after police chase ends in Breydon Water

Hemsby Broads Rescue attended the incident at Breydon Water.

Hemsby Broads Rescue attended the incident at Breydon Water. - Credit: British Transport Police Anglia

A dramatic police chase along the Acle Straight ended with a 72-year-old driver jumping in to Breydon Water to try to escape officers.

The pursuit along the A47 finished with the motorist being arrested and questioned in connection with several driving offences.

The drama started after officers tried to stop a Vauxhall car which they suspected of having false plates at around 4.25pm on Thursday. 

A 72-year-old man had to be rescued from Breydon Water after fleeing police.

A 72-year-old man had to be rescued from Breydon Water after fleeing police. - Credit: British Transport Police Anglia

The driver failed to stop, so officers pursued after him on the A47 between Yarmouth and Acle.

However, the car was then abandoned with no immediate sign of the motorist.

Officers then began a search of the area, and called in the help of the Hemsby lifeboat crew and the coastguard to assist.

He was eventually found on the far side of the marshes, over the Yarmouth to Norwich railway line, in Breydon Water.

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He was brought to dry land and checked over by paramedics before being arrested, at about 7.15pm, on suspicion of failing to stop, driving while disqualified, dangerous driving, driving without insurance, fraud and trespassing on a railway line.

A 72-year-old entered Breydon Water while fleeing Norfolk Police. 

A 72-year-old entered Breydon Water while fleeing Norfolk Police. - Credit: British Transport Police Anglia

The Hemsby lifeboat crew said in a statement the driver had jumped into the water to escape police.

While on their way to the incident, the crew suffered a damaged propeller to their vessel after it hit an underwater obstruction.

The crew then headed to the scene in their specially-adapted car to provide assistance, which ultimately was not needed.

Dan Hurd, lifeboat coxswain, said: "What appeared to be a serious incident with life in danger, requiring the assistance of Hemsby lifeboat, soon became apparent that while the individual concerned did place themselves in harm’s way, this was a deliberate action to avoid the Norfolk police.

"It was a shame that we sustained some damage, but that will happen when we have to place our vessel in harm's way for the benefit of public safety.”

The incident also involved British Transport Police, Network Rail and the Winterton and Gorleston Coastguard teams.

Lifeboat coxswain's praise for emergency response

Daniel Hurd, coxswain of Hemsby lifeboat, praised all the emergency services involved in the incident.

Daniel Hurd of Hemsby lifeboat shares his erosion concerns.

Hemsby lifeboat coxswain Dan Hurd has shared his frustration at the length of time it is taking to get sea defences for Hemsby, a holiday village that relies on its beach. - Credit: Liz Coates

"Despite the circumstances, this multi-agency incident was executed with high professionalism by all involved.

"From the perspective of Hemsby Lifeboat, it was gratifying to see the levels of cooperation between the various agencies involved, who all took a vital role in a safe outcome.

"Norfolk police, the transport police, local coastguard teams, Network Rail and Hemsby lifeboat worked in unison to ensure this outcome

"This was evidence that the effort we take to train and understand how the other agencies operate is time well spent.

“Our role is to preserve and prevent loss of life, and as such, we never judge.

"We do all we can to fulfil our primary objective."