What3words: Stafford women rescued from flooded river after using app

Two women trapped in thigh-high flood water have been rescued after using a location app. The fire service said the pair called from Doxey Marshes, Stafford, at 21:30 GMT on Tuesday after the River Sow burst its banks. One of the walkers had the What3words app on their phone from her and used it to give a call handler their exact location from her.

Firefighters arrived 20 minutes later and found the women, who had been in the water for more than an hour. The app divides the world into 3m by 3m squares and gives each one a unique three-word address. Doxey Marshes is a nature reserve covering 121 hectares (299 acres) on the edge of Stafford and is popular with walkers.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service told the woman who called to turn on the torch on her phone to help track them down in the dark. Four firefighters in dry suits found them and used a rescue sled to take them to dry land. The women, aged 19 and 20, were discharged at the scene, the ambulance service said. Latest news for the West Midlands Station manager Paul Shaw oversaw the rescue for the fire service and said the pair were lucky the water had not gone higher and the situation could easily have been more serious.

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