VETERAN angler Tom Catterall narrowly cheated death after accidentally reversing his car into a popular day ticket lake.

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Tom

The 73-year-old from Bolton, Greater Manchester, was at local Bradshaw Hall Fisheries, when he decided to change swims to the next peg because of the strong wind.

He moved his motor too… but as he reversed, his foot slipped from the brake to accelerator so the car sped backwards. It shot into the water with him trapped inside, in 7 ft of water.

Luckily Tom managed to lower the electric driver’s side window and swim free. He swam to the bank, before managing to alert bailiff John Flynn, who called an ambulance.

The father-of-two said: “I was completely panic-struck and was just thinking ‘I can’t get out’.

“I was very lucky that the window opened and that the air bag didn’t deploy because that would have stopped me from getting out.

“But when I opened the window, the car started filling with water, which I was swallowing. When it began rising up to my head I thought I was a goner,” he added.

‘He rather over did it!” says venue bailiff

Fishery bailiff Dave Brearley told Angler’s Mail: “Tom’s been a regular here for years, usually coming about three times a week, and nearly always fishes the same peg for ease of access as he can park close to the water. But this time he rather over did it!

“He’s already bought a new vehicle and been back wetting his line in the same swim, although we’ve joked with him that he better park under supervision.

“Fortunately the only damage done was to the vehicle not to him or the fishing, as later that day after the car had been removed anglers, were catching from those pegs.

“He can see the funny side of it now and laughed when I told him that if he wants to test the depth of the water he’d be better off using a plummet,” Dave joked.

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