“I’m going to get the kayak,” said one brave villager as flood waters covered his family home in Northamptonshire, before he proceeded to rescue stranded neighbours.
Many people have praised the actions of Dr Matthew Wyse who took to his canoe during the flooding in Yelvertoft on Wedneday, ferrying people stuck in their homes to dry land.
But Dr Wyse, a trauma specialist who is a crew member of the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, said he was initially just taking his wife and daughter to safety as waters covered their courtyard.
He said: “My main priority was to get Katie (his wife) and Lara (his daughter) to safety.
“But then it became clear there was a lot of people stranded.
“There was a fire officer at one end of the village who needed to get to the other side. There was a PCSO who needed to get across so he could control traffic.
“There was a friend of ours, a mother who had gone out and left her baby with her partner/.
“The fire service asked me to go round he old people’s bungalows too.
But none of them wanted to get into the boat. It was important to just check they were okay.
“I didn’t mind doing it at all - it was a bit cold though.”
Dr Wyse carried on ferrying people until the emergency services arrived en masse at around 2pm.
The keen canoeist keeps a number of boats at the family home - but selected an ocean-going kayak to complete the rescue operation on Wednesday.
“I was really looking forward to getting out in the canoe in summer,” he said. “I guess I wasn’t expecting to take it out so soon.”