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04th Oct 2021

Gran and friend break legs on flume after sneaking into pool at 2am on drunken night out

Charlie Herbert

Friends break legs after sneaking into pool at 2am and going on flume

They were stuck in the flume for two hours with broken bones

Two friends suffered dreadful injuries to their legs and feet after drunkenly breaking into a swimming pool and going down a water slide.

Grandma-of-two Claire Vickers, 46, and friend Barry Douglas, 44, each broke a leg and badly damaged their feet after they broke into into Aldershot Lido in Hampshire in the early hours of August 4.

The pair had been drinking and decided to go down one of the flumes in their drunken haze.

So they splashed some water down the slide and stepped into the tube together. However just before the bottom of the slide, a barrier had been placed in the way, which the two crashed into.

They were stuck in the flume for two hours before being rescued by police who responded to reports of “kids” messing around in the pool.

Speaking about the incident, Claire said: “I couldn’t think straight as the pain was excruciating.

“It was like a scene out of a horror film like ‘SAW’.”

Her right leg was completely broken, to the extent that her shin bone was pushing out her skin, and she shattered every bone in her left foot.

Meanwhile, Barry managed to break his left fibular and shatter both his ankles. He described it as “one of the most horrific experiences” of his life.

“‘What are we going to do? What are we going to do?’ was all I said for ages,” said Claire.

“I was banging and banging and, as my foot was hanging off, I was trying to hold that up.”

Barry said: “The pain was unbearable, it was one of the most horrific experiences I’ve had in my life.”

Claire added that she is “still having nightmares” about the accident, over a month later. Remarkably it could have been worse, with Claire admitting that she almost went head-first down the slide.

The two had broken into the lido at 2am and decided to go down the yellow log flume slide. They were not discovered by police until 3.46 am, with Claire saying that she thought they were going to die in the slide.

Barry added: “I tried to lift my leg, but it was dark in there I could see my leg just folding.

“I thought I was going to die.”

They were taken to Frimley Park Hospital in Camberley, Surrey but their injuries were too severe for treatment there, so the duo were transferred to St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

Claire stayed in hospital for two-and-a-half weeks recovering, having a metal rod bound to her right shin and plates put in her left foot.

She is now out of casts but won’t be able to walk for another six weeks, while Barry has been moved to temporary accommodation where he can recover.

The pair hope that their tale can stop others doing the same.

Barry said: “I’ll be lucky if I ever get to go near a water slide in my life again.

“Even thinking about going past that place gives me nightmares.”

Claire added: “Don’t do it – we’re idiots.

“I still have really bad night terrors about it, in the beginning I was waking up within seconds of going to sleep.

“There should have been gates at the top shutting the whole thing off, there needs to be more safety.”

No police action has been taken against the pair.

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