Hampshire firefighters Graham Libby and Robin Bates have flown to the Balkans to help thousands of people stranded by floods

Robin Bates in action at The Marine restaurant in Milford on Sea

Graham Libby

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

A PAIR of Hampshire firefighters have today flown to the Balkans after the region suffered the worst flooding in its history.

Graham Libby and Robin Bates left England this morning, heading to Serbia and Bosnia to help thousands of stranded residents.

Three people have died so far after rivers have burst their banks and landslides have buried homes. So far 4,000 people have been evacuated.

Graham, based at the services' Eastleigh headquarters, and Robin are part of Hampshire's Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team and will run the base of operations, providing food, water and tented accommodation, for the water rescue crews.

Robin, based in Southsea, has already had experience dealing with flooding earlier this year, helping people flee The Marine restaurant in Milford on Sea in Feburary when it was damaged in the winter storms.

They join up with 31 other UK-firefighters heading to Europe on the seven-day rescue mission.

The UK team has been mobilised by the Government's Civil Contingencies Secretariat following a request for international mutual support, made via the European Civil Protection Mechanism.

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