Lancashire couple caught up in French floods tell of their terror

DEVASTATION: Flooding at the Camp du Pylone in Antibes and, inset, Colin and Anne Darlington and their grandchildren on a previous visit

DEVASTATION: Flooding at the Camp du Pylone in Antibes and, inset, Colin and Anne Darlington and their grandchildren on a previous visit

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A couple from the Ribble Valley are counting their blessings after surviving flash floods in the South of France at the weekend.

Colin and Anne Darlington, of Bolton-by-Bowland, were enjoying an end of season 10-day holiday at their caravan on the Camp Du Pylone campsite in Antibes when floods descended upon the French Riviera on Saturday evening.

Now safe and sound at a local hotel, the pair are coming to terms with the disaster after being only 50 yards away from where a neighbouring holidaymaker drowned.

Retirees Colin, 67, and Anne, 60, helped three neighbours escape the six feet high water by pushing them to safety through their caravan’s skylight.

“The events of the last couple of days have been pretty horrendous,” said Colin.

“The first thing we knew about the floods was when there was water lapping against our caravan door and we were confronted by three neighbours stood outside. At this point the water was rising about a foot every five minutes.

“One of the neighbours was a little old man called Jack who was with his wife, Jean, and had lost his hearing aid, while the other was an Irish lady called Ann. I bashed the skylight out of the roof of the caravan and Anne climbed up to help them all on to the roof.

“It was all very frightening and a terrible experience.”

Nineteen people are feared dead after violent storms and severe flooding swept the Riviera.

Among those killed was Linda Martinez, 62, from Ormskirk, who died when the campsite she was staying at flooded.She had recently retired from her role as an administrator at Edge Hill University.

And three people drowned in a retirement home after it was flooded.