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Tuesday, 23 April 2019
A FORMER Henley Sea Cadet is lucky to be alive after an accident in the Falkland Islands.
Charlotte Bainbridge, from Moulsford, suffered serious injuries when a shipping container she’d taken refuge in during a storm flipped over and rolled 200m.
She has spent several weeks in intensive care recovering with her parents Dawn and Andy and boyfriend Edd Hewett at her bedside.
Charlotte and Edd had been camping at Cape Dolphin, a remote area in the north of the islands, when the storm hit.
They had chosen to pitch their tent in the lee of the container but when the storm proved to be much worse than had been forecast they took shelter inside the empty container.
However, the storm winds of 80mph to 100mph launched the container into the air, eventually throwing them both out and knocking them unconscious.
When the pair came to, they were both suffering from concussion and hypothermia but Charlotte was unable to move.
Edd carried her to where the container had landed as there was no other shelter and managed to find their survival kit in the dark outside, so was able to give her some basic first aid.
He then hiked about five miles to the nearest settlement, where he raised the alarm after banging on the door of a house to wake up the owners. A helicopter was scrambled and rescued Charlotte before airlifting her to the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Stanley, where she underwent surgery.
She had suffered damage to her lung, cuts on her liver, a shattered shoulder blade, five broken ribs and three broken fingers.
After the operation, Charlotte was flown by the RAF to the British Hospital in Montevideo, where she had another operation to remove a piece of her lung and put titanium reinforcements on her broken ribs.
She is still recovering in the hospital. Her parents flew out to support her and have been staying in a hotel opposite the hospital together with Edd.
Charlotte, a former student at The Henley College, will be ready to leave the hospital soon but needs to fly business class because of her injuries.
She must have a reduced level of painkillers to fly and therefore a conventional seat would be unbearable.
A friend of Charlotte’s has set up a webpage for people to donate the £10,000 needed to get them all home.
To donate, visit www.crowd
• At the Henley Sea Cadets’ annual prize-giving ceremony last month unit chairman Phil Fletcher asked for everyone to include Charlotte and her family in their thoughts and prayers. He told the Henley Standard: “Her family and friends look forward to her return home as soon as possible. She spent time in the Royal Navy and she became a very capable sailor.”
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