A SPECIMEN angler was lucky to escape with his life after his bivvy burnt down around him and he had to be rushed to hospital.
Nick Webb was fortunate to just escape with serious burns to his hand and foot after his gas stove ignited his bivvy.
The 35-year-old, from Sproughton in Suffolk, went for an all-nighter at a local lake and put his kettle on. He must have fallen asleep and woke up with his clothes on fire.
Fortunately he was fishing with good friend David Cobbold who was nearby.
David managed to douse the flames from Nick’s body and summon help.
David, from Ipswich, Suffolk, explained: “We had gone in the afternoon and had only been set up with the rods in the water for a couple of hours when we retired to our bivvies.
“At about 7.30 pm I heard Nick screaming for help and I leaped out to see him on fire which had burnt through his boot and clothing on his right foot and leg and his back was also alight.
“I doused him in water to put the flames out but could see white skin peeling off his foot and hand.
“In some ways it was lucky he was wearing a lot of clothing and he was fishing with someone as we put the flames out before it reached most of his skin.”
David continued: “As it is, his hand and foot are worse affected but he has other burns on his back and behind his ear.
“His parents only live five minutes drive from the lake so I called them rather than an ambulance and they rushed him to Ipswich Hospital where it took three hours to peel the loose skin from his limbs.
“He is being assessed next week to see whether he actually needs skin grafts to repair the damage,
“Nick can’t really walk at the moment and won’t be able to do his job as a delivery driver for quite some time.
“He really can’t recall what happened and is in shock. He probably put the kettle on then nodded off and maybe knocked the stove over with his foot.
“He described it as being like a teenage wet dream – he thought he was dreaming something was happening then realised he was actually on fire.
“The bivvy was fully aflame and was destroyed within minutes, so it is lucky Nick got out when he did.”
David told Angler’s Mail: “We decided to publicise what happened to raise awareness of the dangers – if it stops it happening to even one other person it would be worth it.
“We can all get complacent and think things won’t happen to us, but it just shows that you should never have a naked flame inside bivvies especially as they are not flame retardant,” added the tackle shop assistant at Birds Tackle, Great Blackenham.
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