Sat Nav pensioner drives into River Deben

By Courtney Pike
Angling Correspondent

A Norfolk pensioner drove her car into the River Deben after her Sat Nav sent her to Waldringfield instead of Great Waldingfield.

Betty Hampton, 79, from Norwich, decided to pay a visit to her twin sister, who lives in a pretty cottage in the small village of Great Waldingfield near Sudbury in Suffolk.

But she got a little confused when using her new car satellite navigation device for the first time – and mistakenly keyed in Waldringfield, the riverside hamlet near Woodbridge, as her destination.

Betty headed off happily enough down the A140 and then dutifully followed the Sat Nav instructions to head east to Woodbridge, rather than west towards Sudbury.

She trundled along the windy country lanes near Waldringfield, went down Cliff Lane towards the river – and kept going at 20mph, straight into the water.

car-in-debenMaking waves: Betty Hampton’s car stuck in the River Deben

Luckily, her car was not completely submerged in the River Deben, and the landlord of the nearby Maybush Inn heard her cries for help and managed to pull her out.

“She was wet, cold, and a little dazed, but otherwise unhurt by her ordeal,” a local fisherman said. “She told us she thought she was in Great Waldingfield, and that there is no river there, so she was a little surprised to drive into one.

“She was able to have a chuckle about it while she dried out next to the fire in the pub, and staff allowed her to ring her sister to tell her she wouldn’t make lunch.”

Mrs Hampton’s car was written off, and a kindly police officer gave her a lift to Ipswich Railway Station, from where she was able to get a train back home to Norwich.

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