back to article Derbyshire cops get into deep water

Derbyshire's finest have been entertaining netizens recently with a world-class demonstration of why vans and floodwater don't mix: According to internal police sources, the aquaplod in question were "Special" constables, aka "Play Cops", and are "now all in deep water" as a result of their mishap. As the Blogger in Blue puts …

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Well...

that's what you get for running full-speed into a big, big puddle. At least they tried, most people would panic and keep well away!

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Silver badge

Daft? Maybe..

but I didn't hear one person in the background express any concern for where/what they may have been off to do. They did have their siren going after all.

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Anonymous Coward

"Play police"

... I prefer "hobby bobbies"

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Not so plod?

Maybe they really had to get somewhere to help someone! True he drove in far too fast, but I think they did a pretty good recovery job the way they all jumped straight out of the van and got pushing.

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Quality

Laugh.....I nearly fell off my seat!

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Re: Well

And a good thing too! Have you seen what happens to a diesel engine when water is ingested - bang!

Not only that, but most insurance companies do not cover you for driving into water.

So this could be a very expensive mistake.

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We paid for that!

The driver slowed almost to a halt to assess the situation. As someone else paid for the vehicle he booted it and made as big a splash as possible. I would guess it is a diesel engined vehicle and so what stopped it was probably water in the air intake, if so then that's an expensive repair particularly if the water sucked into the cylinders whilst it was still turning.

A sensible approach at a slow steady speed would very likely have allowed them to drive through without incident.

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woodentops

in more ways than one.

If they were indeed SAS busies then they won't have been answering a shout of huge importance. Unless someone was needed to make the tea.

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Don't be so hard on them

I sent this clip to a friend of mine in the police and he said that on the advanced driving course they are told to hit the water fast and hard and then drive in wake of the resulting wave, however it is difficult to time it right as this driver proved. Still funny though.

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Been reading the Policeman's Blog?

Your source's reference seems suspiciously similar to it... Proper credit where it's due!

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Anonymous Coward

Cause and effect

I used to be a firefighter - and to drive in emergencies you have to take a special course of instruction and test.

Hazard awareness, plays a big part in that training.

How were they going to serve the community by arriving late or not at all to the incident they were attending.

Slowing down would have lost them (perhaps) 20 seconds, rendering the vehicle useless has no benefit whatsoever.

They also showed a total lack of consideration for peoples property with the wave of water they created.

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Anonymous Coward

Unbelievable

Even an idiot knows that you don't drive into flood water at speed. They wouldn't have known what obstacles might have been under the surface,and its obvious the huge bow wave overwhelmed the engine. Well done. As for them being all Specials - didn't think specials were allowed to proceed on Blues and Twos - so there must have been at least one regular with them.

At the end of the day it doesn't matter how urgent the job if you can't get there as a result of doing something stupid then you aint gonna be much use to the casualty.

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re Don't be so hard on them

yeah that's what you're supposed to do to avoid aquaplaining (sp) the same theory doesn't really work with more then a few inches of water...

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Anonymous Coward

I suppose they could have turned around and gone home...

I doubt it was the bow wave over-whelming the engine that was the problem. The vehicle stalled when the exhaust was covered.

Assuming there was no easy alternative route and they were en route to a call, their actions seem quite sensible. They drove into the puddle quite hard hoping to push as far through as possible, hopped out and pushed it when it stalled, and then carried on going.

They weren't going fast enough to 'plane and they might have generated enough bow wave to keep the exhaust clear if it had been slightly shallower.

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Special

you can say that again brings a new meaning to {mentally retarded voice} Special constable.

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Anonymous Coward

How to drive through water...???

The exhaust isn't the problem, it's the air intake on diesals, and electric on petrols. If the air intake end up below the level of the water - bang, if the electric short, you stop.

As long as the engine is running the exhaust gases prevent any water going up the pipe. Might be a bit of extra back pressure but you should be OK.

Drive in slowly in low gear to keep engine revs up which means the exhaust keeps clear. You can drive through much deeper puddle than you might expect - another, perhaps bigger problem, is being swept away! And hope that a sodding great big truck doesnt come the other way and swap your car with its bowwave....

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Anonymous Coward

Aqua driving

In a diesel, covering the exhaust with water does not stall the engine. If you stall for another reason with the exhaust covered, then you might have a problem with water being sucked back up the exhaust and into the engine (or catalytic converter if you have one).

A diesel can run completely submerged as long as the air intake is above water level, and any electronics are properly sealed... ask anyone who has a Land Rover with a snorkel who goes 'wading'... If these numpties had slowed down they wouldn't have got water in the air intake, and they might have made it to the doughnut shop on time and without getting wet...

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Anonymous Coward

Title

"You're only meant to rinse the bladdy doors off!"

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snorkle

Hmmmm,

I wonder how much it would be to add a snorkle to the vehicles? You know.... just in case :P

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oh dear

police vehicle flooded in huge puddle.

a spokeman said they were looking into it.

*putting his coat on*

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Anonymous Coward

Mummy says I'm special.

Nuf sed!

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Anonymous Coward

Don't try this in the USA

These civilians should be very happy that they live in the UK, and not in the USA. Otherwise after the cops finished pushing their van out of the water, they would have turned around and confiscated the camera and taken them all to jail.

Filming a police officer is a serious offence over here!

Glad to see that there is still some freedom left in the world...

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Anonymous Coward

Lessons & Sympathy

Concern for those who needed the attendance of this van driven by a rather silly and untrained copper should have been foremost, but well there were more thick people around that day than just in the van!

Never, ever drive through apparent deep water at speed.

From our past rallying experience, the prime technique for handling large chunks of deep water is to drive in slow and steady with the engine racing (slip the clutch) to create no back pressure from the engine exhaust, that ensures the engine can keep turning in order to make progress - simple!! Even if the water is deeper than the exhaust the more or less constant pressure from very high revs will keep the exhaust doing just that, exhausting, hence then engine will continue to operate.

The next essential is to feel your way through the water taking care to respond to any hidden obstruction and hope there is no large hole to impede progress - for instance be ready to back out if the front wheels begin to drop.

Use your local knowledge and/or congitive skills to estimate the depth and 'danger' aspects of the situation - i.e. the possibility of being swept away, if water is fast running or of being put into a situation from which you and the vehicle cannot recover.

Finally, throughout the entire exercise it is vital to keep the revs high (slip the clutch if you have to and of course use the lowest gear possible) and most important, KEEP THE BOW WAVE LOW. As long as the engine does not get covered this should ensure the air intake remains free to suck in air and not water.

In sympathy for the poor 'blobbies' I think they did what most would do in a 'frantic' adrenalin fueled situation and would push in hard in the hope of emerging successfully to carry on to what was, after all, an emergency situation. Shame it didn't work.

Look and learn from this it might save YOUR life!

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A note to a nonny-mouse...

Regarding the inadvisability of filming police in the USA...

two points.

First, police *are* civilians. They'd love us to think otherwise, but they are still civilians. There are generally severe restrictions on using anyone non-civilian in a police-like role, for what I sincerely hope are obvious reasons.

Second, I suspect one R. King of Los Angeles is very glad some people regard the filming of police officers as something that shouldn't be an offence. What are the police so afraid of - after all they keep on with the line of "if you've done nothing wrong, why are you concerned about surveillance"?

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Anonymous Coward

Steve Skipper's mate

"I sent this clip to a friend of mine in the police and he said that on the advanced driving course they are told to hit the water fast and hard and then drive in wake of the resulting wave, however it is difficult to time it right as this driver proved. Still funny though."

Bollox - anyone who knows how to drive can tell you your Police friend is talking crap.

Collect Warrant card - deposit brain.

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re: Hobby Bobbie

the clip was good... some comments were ok... but this comment about calling them "hobby bobbies" just about made me fall off my rocker... great stuff

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Wet Fuzz

So now we know what Pegg and Frost can do for a sequel...

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Anonymous Coward

Get used to this...

... the huge levels of police recruitment in the late 1970s means that, over the next five years, as those "Edmund Davies babies" reach 30 years of service and retire, over HALF (53%) of the entire Police Service in England & Wales will be retiring or leaving: why did you think Community Support Officers and Highways Agency Traffic Officers were invented?

And whilst there were indeed record numbers of police officers in the last few years (143,000 at one point), the numbers are now dropping steadily... some believe it could go as low as 80,000 in time for the Olympics (which is why the Metropolitan Police are desperate to recruit so many Specials now... noticed the ads on the Underground?).

So ("Unbelievable"), it is not at all unusual for Specials to drive police vehicles with no regular officer on board....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Get used to this...

"... the huge levels of police recruitment in the late 1970s means that, over the next five years, as those "Edmund Davies babies" reach 30 years of service and retire, over HALF (53%) of the entire Police Service in England & Wales will be retiring or leaving: why did you think Community Support Officers and Highways Agency Traffic Officers were invented?"

Because they are cheaper and it's easier to use them for political policing.

If a lack of police officers is the problem, then the solution is to hire more police officers. It's not rocket science.

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