HEROIC lifeboat volunteers who provided comfort to a pensioner for the duration of her five-hour ambulance wait have said they were “happy to help”.

On Monday, at roughly 5pm, the East of England Ambulance Service received reports of an elderly lady who had fallen over in Woodberry Way, Walton.

Eyewitnesses, who rushed to the aid of the 68-year-old, claim she was in a great deal of pain, believed to be coming from her hips, and her head was in the road.

Despite being unable to move, she was informed by paramedics that she could be waiting there, on the side of a busy highway, for as long as five-hours.

Following the arrival of a police unit, Richard Wyatt and Simon Berry, lifeboat crew members from the Walton and Frinton RNLI were called to the scene.

Due to the dangerous position in which the lady was in, the courageous pair - both qualified in casualty care – used a stretcher to manoeuvre her to a safe place.

They then used pain relief equipment in a bid to keep her as comfortable as possible, until the arrival of an ambulance, which did not attend until shortly after 9.30pm.

Following the incident, Mr Wyatt said the committed level of assistance offered by those who were passing by, but decided to help, was nothing short of amazing.

“We were glad to put our training and resources to good use, making the lady as comfortable as possible at a time when there is extra pressure on the ambulance service,” he said.

“We were also very grateful for the assistance offered by members of the public, including an off-duty theatre nurse, who stopped to help.

“It was a great show of teamwork and a credit to our community.”

Walton and Frinton Lifeboat volunteer, Mr Berry, echoed his partner in reiterating the organisation’s dedication to helping others.

He added: “Although we are trained for casualty care at sea, we were happy to be able to help this lady in her hour of need.”

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service has since apologised to the woman for the painful wait she had to endure.

They said: “This can happen when we are experiencing a high level of calls to people with life-threatening illnesses or injuries.

“We are sorry this patient had to wait for an ambulance.”