MOTORISTS are being urged to be extra cautious when river levels are higher than usual after three vehicles had to be rescued from fords in Worcestershire.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) was called out last Friday just after 11am after a van became stuck in the ford in Houndsfield Lane, in Hollywood, near Redditch.

A crew from Redditch was joined by rescue boats from Worcester and Evesham, and they pulled the driver and his van from the flooded ford using ropes.

Shortly after 1.30pm the same day, the service received reports that two cars were submerged in the ford at Shell, near Himbleton.

Crews from Droitwich and Kidderminster and rescue boats from Worcester and Evesham used an inflatable sledge and a ladder to rescue an elderly man from one of the cars. He was treated at the scene by paramedics and taken to Worcester Royal Hospital by ambulance.

One of the cars remained in the ford on Monday, as shown in this picture by Worcester News reader Mark Small, who sent us the picture on our Facebook page.

Police were told about the incident but did not attend. A spokesman said responsibility for removing the vehicle lay with its owner in the first instance, but that police could recover it at the owner’s expense if necessary. Crews also rescued a man from his car at the ford on Walcot Lane, Drakes Broughton, near Pershore, last Wednesday.

A fire service spokesman said: “We are urging anyone who uses a route that includes a ford to keep themselves updated with the local flood warnings and weather reports, and to avoid driving through the ford when river levels are higher than usual.”