'Incredible Hulk' Royal Marine lifts two-ton truck off drowning comrade during gun battle in Afghanistan
Drowning in 3ft of ditch water, his leg trapped under a two - ton truck , Royal Marine Mark Farr must have thought there was no way he would make it out of Afghanistan alive.
But he reckoned without the heroism of his fellow Marine, Colour Sergeant Carl 'Tatts' Tatton, who braved Taliban mortar fire to lift the vehicle by himself, although it was 13 times his body weight.
Marine Farr, 29, dubbed his rescuer 'The Incredible Bulk' after the superhuman feat.
"Without Tatts I'd have drowned," he said. "I owe him my life."
Now back in Britain, Colour Sergeant Tatton has spoken out for the first time about the adrenaline rush that allowed him to move the truck on November 5 last year. The 38-year- old from Ford, Plymouth, said unassumingly: "When you see one of your mates in danger, you just react." But his senior commander, Lieutenant Colonel Andy Price of 3 Commando, refused to accept such modesty, saying: "Colour Sergeant Tatton gave no thoughts to his own safety. "This is typical of the man - he embodies the very highest standards of the Royal Marines."
At the time of the incident in Gereshk, southern Afghanistan, Colour Sergeant Tatton was a physical training instructor with Marine Farr's J Company, 42 Commando. Marine Farr became trapped when a mortar bomb exploded near to the water-filled ditch he was working in, flipping the truck down the bank and on to his leg. As more shells rained in, Colour Sergeant Tatton leapt into the ditch to try to free his comrade.
Recalling the incident after arriving back at barracks in Plymouth, the hero said: "At the time it was one of our fiercest days of contact with the enemy. It was one of those days when it was just mad. "We were working in the Sangin Valley trying to disrupt Taliban movement when we came under intense mortar attack.
"We arrived under the cover of darkness and we thought it was going to be quite quiet. At about 10am the first mortar came in. We heard on the radio that a section of J Company was under heavy mortar fire so I decided to take more sandbags up to reinforce one of the forward positions. "We loaded the bags on to our Pinzgauer truck and reversed towards the position on one of the narrow tracks. "We got to the location and I jumped out to make sure the junction was clear. A mortar round then exploded on the side of a bank, which caused it to break.
"The truck toppled over into a deep stream, trapping Marine Farr's legs as he tried to jump out." After an initial yell, the Marine was dragged under the surface. "He was pinned down about 3ft underwater," said Colour Sergeant Tatton. "He was seconds from drowning. I jumped in and tried to lift his head up but realised I'd have to lift up the truck. I grabbed the roll bar and lifted the suspension enough to release him.
"A few lads ran over thinking the lad was seriously injured because they heard all this screaming - it turned out it was me making all the noise trying to lift the thing."
time to work out I think ops: