The driver was called ‘unbelievably stupid’ after following his satnav, which saw the van half-submerged in a tributary of the River Ure near Ripon, Yorkshire.
The front-seat passenger, who had directed the driver using the satnav, commented ‘The emergency services said we could have lost our lives if we were 2 ft deeper. We would have been swept away down the river. It was proper bad. It was flowing really fast, about 70mph apparently.’
Shocked witnesses had called the emergency services, which deployed fire crews, 2 police cars and a water rescue team. A rescuer clad in scuba diving gear had to aid the operation to free the group of 2 people and a dog.
The fire station manager criticised the van's occupants for ‘reckless stupidity’ after he asked them why they had attempted to cross the flooded river: “I had one question only: ‘Why did you attempt this?’ The response was ‘My satnav said this way.’ . . ‘Unbelievable stupidity’. . ”