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Sir Ranulph taken to medical tent during gruelling race

Sir Ranulph Fiennes and trainer Rory Coleman approaching camp 4 during the fourth day for the Marathon des Sables. Credit: Marie Curie/Liz Scarff/PA Wire

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been taken to the medical tent at the Marathon des Sables following concerns for his health.

The 71-year-old, who's from Exmoor, explorer is receiving medical attention after running for 30 hours in over 50C (122F) heat.

Sir Ranulph completed the most gruelling stage of the Marathon des Sables earlier today, but was taken straight to the medical tent as the exertion had begun to take its toll on his heart.

The veteran explorer, who has previously suffered two heart attacks and underwent a double heart bypass in 2003, was forced to lie down intermittently during the last few hours of the race, after fears he would not be able to finish the stage.

Speaking from the medical tent, Sir Ranulph said the last few hours had been "more hellish than hell".

I became woozy and had the feeling I was going to faint. It's not worth pushing it when you get that.

My trainer Rory had to push me down to the ground to rest and then pick me up again every so often, that is how we made the last 5k.

Last night was pretty horrific, it's hell on earth. You're trying to go up hills and your feet are slipping backwards in the sand. I had some really shaky moments. My head-torch faded and I couldn't see the hills.

– Sir Ranulph Fiennes

But Sir Ranulph, who is pushing to become the oldest Briton to complete the six-day ultra-marathon in the South Moroccan desert, said thoughts of the Marie Curie teams he is raising money for kept him going.

What kept me going was the thought that Marie Curie nurses are also working through the night.

This is all to raise funds for the amazing care they provide to people who are terminally ill and their families.

– Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Sir Ranulph, who began the challenging fourth stage of the event at 8:30am on Wednesday, has covered 56 miles, stopping for an hour at 04:30am this morning to sleep out on the race course.

But the race, which has already seen more than 75 people drop out, is still not over and Sir Ranulph still has one more marathon to complete tomorrow before finally finishing the race.

WATCH: Horrifying footage of driver wrecking his caravan as he tries to overtake a lorry

An impatient driver started his holiday off on the wrong foot when he tried to overtake a truck - and destroyed his £10,000 caravan.

This horrifying footage of the event was caught on lorry driver Nick Townley's dashcam, as he drove between Glastonbury and Street on Tuesday.

Nick says the motorist had been stuck behind the HGV driver for several miles after leaving the M5 in Somerset, but when he finally attempted to pass him at a set of lights he badly miscalculated.

As the road narrowed he lost control at 50mph and swerved in front of the lorry, sending his caravan into a lampost, smashing it to pieces and spilling the contents across the road.

The car crashed on the opposite side of the road - narrowly missing oncoming traffic - with what remained of the caravan still attached.

The 49-year-old driver who had been slowly accelerating his 22-tonne truck to nearly 30mph, hit his brakes and managed to perform an emergency stop in just 20 yards.


Somerset's new community flood support boat needs a name - can you help?

Somerset's new community flood support boat needs a name - can you help? Credit: Somerset County Council

People in Somerset are being asked to come up with a name for the county's new community flood support boat.

A similar vessel was a lifeline during last year's floods and, when it's not involved in rescues, it will be used by disabled people.

The winner will get a chance to steer the boat themselves.

People have until noon on Thursday 23 April to submit names to Somerset County Council, which will then be shortlisted for public vote.

I think we can all agree that ‘community flood support boat’ is not a very catchy name! That’s why we’re appealing for your help in finding a new one.

Let’s not forget what this boat represents. A similar vessel provided a lifeline to residents who had no other way of reaching their homes during the terrible floods of 2014. It transported everyone from schoolchildren and commuters to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

When it’s not being used as a rescue boat, this Wheelyboat is fully adapted for wheelchair use and will be used to help disabled people access the water.

This is a boat for the community of Somerset, so it’s only right that the community gets to choose its name.

So whether you’re a pupil at school, a local resident who was affected by the floods or just a member of the public with a really good idea, please get in touch and let us know what you think it should be called.

– Paula Hewitt, Somerset County Council’s Director and Lead Commissioner for Economic and Community Infrastructure

Plymouth Argyle & Exeter City level on points

Plymouth Argyle have been edged out of the League Two play-off places after a 2-1 defeat at Portsmouth. The hosts scored twice, before Olly Lee pulled a goal back. The Pilgrims also had Curtis Nelson sent off late in the game.

It's two wins over the Easter weekend for Exeter City. The Grecians beat Newport 2-0 at St James Park, thanks to goals from David Wheeler and a penalty from Ryan Harley.

Exeter City stay 10th despite their win, but they're now level on points with Argyle who slip to 8th.

In League One, Yeovil have suffered their sixth straight defeat. They're heading to League Two with a whimper after losing 4-0 at Fleetwood.

And Torquay United were beaten 2-0 at Aldershot in the Conference.

Driver, 27, killed in head-on crash in Somerset

A 27-year-old man has died and another is in hospital with serious injuries after two cars collided in Somerset on Saturday night.

The cars crashed into each other head-on at 9.40pm in Whitelackington, near Ilminster. Both drivers were trapped in their cars, and despite medical treatment, one of them was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other driver, a 51-year-old man, is in hospital with a fractured pelvis and a broken leg, but is not in a life-threatening condition.

Avon and Somerset Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Exeter City battle back from two down to win at Luton

Jordan Moore-Taylor scored Exeter City's second goal at Luton. Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Exeter City kept their play-off hopes alive after fighting back from two goals down to win 3-2 at Luton this afternoon.

Ryan Harley and Jordan Moore-Taylor drew the scores level, before David Wheeler bundled in a dramatic winner in the 5th minute of injury time.

Plymouth Argyle drew 1-1 with League Two leaders Burton Albion at Home Park. The visitors led 1-0 at half-time, but Carl McHugh headed an equaliser four minutes from the end.

In League One, Yeovil Town threw away a two goal lead as they lost 3-2 at home to Chesterfield. James Hayter and Sam Foley on-target for Yeovil.

Argyle occupy the final play-off place, while Exeter are up to 10th and 3 points behind the Pilgrims.


Busy weekend of sport gets underway today

Our football clubs play the first of two Easter weekend matches this afternoon.

Plymouth Argyle take on league leaders Burton at Home Park. Their 3-0 win over Cheltenham on Saturday has left their manager John Sheridan with some tough choices:

Elsewhere this afternoon, Yeovil's League One relegation is all but mathematically sealed but they host Chesterfield at Huish Park. Exeter City travel to Luton, while Torquay United host Dartford in the Conference tomorrow.

Yeovil Town, Exeter City, and Plymouth Argyle are in action this afternoon.

AP McCoy set to make his last appearance at Taunton racecourse

AP McCoy set to make his last appearance at Taunton Credit: PA: Nick Potts

Legendary Champion jockey AP McCoy is planning to make his swansong appearance at Taunton Racecourse later when it hosts a Family Fun Day.

AP has ridden well over 4000 winners since 1992 and been crowned National Hunt Champion Jockey on 20 consecutive occasions, a record that is unlikely to ever be beaten.

Earlier this year he announced his retirement at the end of this season so this is expected to be the last time he will ride at Taunton.

Alex's Weather Blog: Pack for all occasions this Easter

Alex Beresford has some advice if you're in the South West this Easter.

If you're lucky enough to be jetting off to a sunnier climate then you can skip to the next article, however if you're on a stay-cation or holidaying in the South West of England over the next few days get ready to pack for all occasions as strong winds, rain, showers and sunshine are all in the forecast.

The main feature in the weather this week will be the wind which is set to peak this evening through to tomorrow blowing a gale, especially along western coastal areas where single gust speeds could hit 70 mph. Today's rain won't be lingering for long with winds this strong coming in from the west, although a splattering of showers will follow overnight.


Tomorrow a few showers are likely, but many areas will largely escape with a dry and fairly bright day, and if you can find a sheltered area out of the wind it won't be too bad a day when the sun comes out. On the coast however it'll feel much colder and the seas will be choppy.


If you're up early on Wednesday it'll be much like today. Dry and mostly sunny, however the same pattern will emerge. Cloud piling up and in off the Atlantic followed by rain spreading eastwards during the afternoon.

End of the week

Thursday and Friday will be largely cloudy with further outbreaks of rain or showers at times. The winds will ease, but it'll still be breezy, which in turn will make it feel fresher.

The Easter holiday weekend is still looking changeable, although this could change later in the week - so watch this space for the latest developments.

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