The Perfect Vacation
It was supposed to be the perfect getaway. A trip to the beach to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of life. However, for one Army veteran, his dream vacation was about to become a living nightmare.
An Unfortunate Accident
As the man decided to take a stroll along the surf…he slipped and broke his leg. Now, isolated and alone, he had to find help. You won’t believe this incredible story of bravery and beating the odds. It truly is inspiring.
A Holiday to Remember
For Tim Robinson, an infantry sergeant for the British Army, a vacation to Bridport, Dorset was something he had been looking forward to for months. A small town in England near the beach, he couldn’t wait to simply spend his days reading, taking in the sunsets and just finding some peace and quiet with his loving wife.
The Fateful Walk
Unfortunately, fate had other plans for Tim. The day started out great enough. He enjoyed a wonderful dinner and decided to take a walk down to the beach. Sadly, the joy of dipping his toes in the surf was short lived.
Slipping on the Beach
While on his walk, Tim slipped on a piece of seaweed that had washed up on the sand. Unable to brace himself for the impact, his leg landed at an odd angle, sending a sheering pain through his body. After assessing the situation, Tim realized the worst had happened.
His leg was broken…
No Cell Phone
To make matters worse, Tim had left his cell phone back in his hotel room. He didn’t think he would be gone long and never could have imagined he’d wind up breaking his leg on the beach.
What would he do?
Helpless and Alone
Looking around the expansive beach, Tim realized that he was all alone. The pain was excruciating and he recalled never feeling so helpless. Thankfully, Tim remembered his military training while lying in the sand. There was no way he’d let this situation get the best of him.
Calling for Help
At first, Tim began to call out for help. Surely someone from back at the hotel or nearby would hear him? Unfortunately, his screams fell on deaf ears. As Tim began to contemplate his next move, his mind wandered to the survival shows he used to watch on television.
“You watch these survival programs like Bear Grylls and think about what is around you to help you.” Unfortunately for Tim, all he had was an endless expanse of sand and surf. Realizing he needed to get moving, he began the painful task of trying to stand.
Hopping Along the Beach
Unable to place weight on his broken leg, Tim began to hobble and hop around the beach. Sadly, the pain was just too great and it forced him to stop and rethink his plan. There was no way he could hobble his way back to the hotel.
No Other Choice
Tim realized his choices were limited. Without a cell phone and no one around to help, he would have to get creative. And his broken leg certainly wasn’t going to help. The break was so bad it was dangling like a snapped tree limb.
He would have to try something else…even if it was desperate.
Time to Crawl
The Army vet would have to crawl. After spending two tours in Afghanistan and one in Irag, he knew the seriousness of his current situation. And there was absolutely NO WAY he was going to let a broken get the best of him.
Therefore, he began to crawl through the sand.
A Grueling Crawl
The process of crawling through the sand was harder than Tim had anticipated. The pain from his leg was overpowering his ability to think straight. He knew he needed to find help soon or could risk going into shock.
“After I crawled to about a mile-and-a-quarter away from the car park I started flashing my torch in SOS and spinning it over my head to create a Buzz-Saw signal which is a way of attracting helicopters in the armed forces…” Tim told the Daily Mail.
Unfortunately, his signals were not seen. No planes or helicopters passed overhead and it seemed no one was visiting the beach. However, Tim knew he needed to keep moving if he was going to get through the ordeal.
“It was all very dramatic. I was scared for my life,” Tim recalled. However, he knew there was no choice, he could either wait for help or keep moving. With night approaching, the likelihood of anyone finding him in the dark was slim.
On the Move
“There was no response, to begin with, so I crawled for five minutes and covered about 50 meters before making the same signal three times,” Robinson told the local news.
He would not give up. There was no choice but to press onward.
A Stroke of Luck
After continuing to flash his signals a third and fourth time, Tim finally got a response. He saw a torch flashing back. Finally, it seemed someone had seen his distress signal.
A Familiar Signal
Tim continued to flash his light in sequence and realized the torch was flashing back in a familiar pattern. Through the pain and fear, he realized it was someone near and dear to him.
You won’t believe who it was.
Love and Survival
“It was my wife,” Robinson said, “and she was shining the torch in a sequence in response to my signal. We got a routine going where I crawled for five minutes, stopped, signaled and she replied.”
It seemed Tim’s wife realized something was terribly wrong and went looking for her husband. Talk about a stroke of luck!
A Long Way to Go
Despite his wife’s signals and help, Tim still had a very long way to crawl. He recalls the agony of his broken leg and having to crawl in intervals while signaling to his wife. It seemed to take forever as if time had slowed to the same speed of his crawling.
On top of everything else, Tim knew the longer he remained on the beach without treatment, the greater the risk of infection. His broken leg and exposed bone were a major problem. Thankfully, he was determined to make it off the beach in one piece.
It took several long sessions of signaling and crawling before Tim was finally within earshot of his wife. This allowed him to begin to shout out to her and he realized that his ordeal would soon be coming to an end.
A Fearful Wife
On the opposite side of the ordeal, Tim’s wife called for help as she continued to signal to her husband. She recalls the fear she felt, not knowing how hurt he was or his exact location was a horrible feeling. Thankfully, it would all be over soon.
When Tim finally reunited with his wife, he was in pretty bad shape. She realized his condition was much worse than she could have ever imagined. Thankfully, the coast guard soon showed up, but there was no ambulance around to get Tim to a hospital.
The Long Wait
The coast guard crew stabilized Tim’s leg and informed him that they would have to wait for an ambulance. Thankfully, they were able to keep his spirits up in the meantime. “The coastguards and lifeboat guys were excellent and really professional,” Tim recalled. “They kept my morale up and had a bit of banter when they found out I was an army reservist.”
In Horrible Shape
Once the ambulance arrived, the medics removed Tim’s boot to assess the situation. He realized the break was much worse than he thought when his foot just flopped to the side. Even Tim couldn’t believe what he had endured to make it to safety.
An Unreal Situation
The lifeguards and coast guard members who helped Tim get to the hospital were shocked by what he had been through. Most men would have been unable to crawl such a distance (a total of a mile) after suffering from such a bad break. Thankfully, Tim had the experience to make it through.
Training Was Key
According to the leader of the rescue mission, Tim’s training from the military was a critical component of his survival. “He is a full-time Territorial Army guy and his military background came to the fore. If it weren’t for his training, he may not have made it.”
A Positive Outcome
Despite his harrowing ordeal, Tim is on the road to recovery. However, he is very well aware that his training and knowledge of Morse code played a very critical role in his survival. Thankfully, his wife was able to help from a distance as well.
As for Tim? He promises to bring his cell phone with him everywhere he goes from now on.