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U.K. woman falls down 400-year-old well

UPI News Service, 07/26/2011 

A Worcestershire, England, woman said she fell down a 400-year-old well in her back yard and was stuck in 8 feet of cold water for 90 minutes.

Denise Brooks, 65, lost her footing climbing down a ladder to free a water pump stuck at the bottom of the well, slipping into the murky water below Monday afternoon, The Guardian reported.

"It was a real shock and very frightening when I hit the water as I was completely submerged. I can't swim but managed to grab on to the rope to keep myself afloat," Brooks said. She then called out to her husband, Mike Brooks, for help.

The couple had been pumping water from the 30-foot well into a duck pond in their yard before the incident.

"After we'd pumped enough water across, we tried to pull the pump back up but it got stuck while still under the water. When it has happened in the past we have lowered a ladder down the well and Denise has climbed down with a pole and prodded the pump until it has come free," Mike Brooks said.

Mike Brooks, also 65, called the fire department after unsuccessfully trying to pull his wife up.

"I cannot tell you how pleased I was to see a firefighter being lowered down the well coming to rescue me," Denise Brooks said.

Denise Brooks sustained an elbow scrape but was none worse for the wear, Jerry Penn Ashman of West Midlands ambulance service said.

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Copyright 2011 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any repr

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