A mum and daughter have become the first to be rescued using a new police tool that can find people anywhere in the world – using just three WORDS.
Valerie Hawkett, 33, was left disoriented when she lost control driving round a sharp bend and her car went flying over a hedge and landed on its side in a field.
Her four-year-old daughter was in the back and Valerie tried to call the police to come to her aid – but was so shocked by the accident she didn’t know where she was.
Luckily, police were able to find their way to Valerie in the field – after texting her the link to a website called What 3 Words.
It opens on all devices and is able to find the exact position of any location on Earth -using just three words.
The geocoding system has divided the planet into 57 trillion 3-metre by 3-metre squares, assigning each square a random three-word ‘address’.
It told her the three word grid she was in – ‘weekend foggy earphones’ – which directed police to a road near a field on the A36 heading out of Norton St Philip, Somerset.
Other combinations of the possible five quadrillion combinations include ‘snows funny burglars’, ‘conga menswear clattered’ and ‘grumble joke tech’.
Valerie, from Trowbridge, Wilts., said: “It was absolutely brilliant. It’s really, really good.
“I was so disoriented after the crash that I didn’t know where I was.
”I could have been in that field all day, if it hadn’t been for the three-word location.”
Valerie told how she was taking her daughter, Tegan Biddle, now five, to a swimming lesson near Norton St Philip, Som., one afternoon last October.
She said: “It’s a road I drive every week – but it was really wet weather.
“I was going round a really sharp bend, and I had slowed down, but I just lost control.
”The car fully took off from the road and went up and over a bush, and landed in a field.”
Valerie said her Ford Fiesta car landed on its side, with the only means of escape being through the back passenger-side door.
She said: “The only thing holding me in my seat was my seatbelt. But I managed to get that undone and get me and my daughter out through the back door.”
She added that she suffered from minor whiplash and her daughter suffered a bruised elbow – but they were otherwise uninjured.
“I called the police after we got out the car, and I could hear their car driving up and down the road on the other side of the hedge, but they couldn’t find me,” Valerie said.
“I was trying to send them my location via Google Maps from my iPhone. But then they texted me the web address for What3Words.
“After that they managed to find me straight away. It was really good. I never even knew about it.”
Valerie and Tegan were taken to Royal United Hospital in Bath to be checked over – but were released shortly after.
What 3 Words texting service is currently used by around 60 per cent of police forces across the UK.
It allows call handlers to send an SMS that contains a link to the What3words browser map site, in just one tap.