Stuck in the mud - "an experience I never want again"

"I’ve just had an experience I never want again. It only takes once to get in trouble and lose your life". This is from a man of 47 who has spent a lifetime on his local coast in the Medway and he came very close to it being his last visit earlier this month.

Medway Coastguard Rescue Team responding to a mud related incident

He’s an angler and was on one of his regular trips to dig for bait "like I have done 1000’s of times", he said. This time though, it was different. "I got stuck (in the soft mud). After an hour of trying to get free, I had sunk to just above my chest, never ever have I sunk that deep," he said.

He was well and truly trapped. The tide was coming in and he was in grave danger. Luckily, he had a mobile phone and he called his family who called 999 and asked for the Coastguard. They did the right thing. "I knew I was in trouble and had used all my energy. They (Coastguard Rescue Teams) came by shore and a helicopter was on its way. I don’t know how the Coastguard and ambulance escorted me back as I was completely spent."

Our teams around the UK train regularly in mud rescue techniques (image taken pre-Covid) 

Recovering from the ordeal, he shared his experience on a social media group and it was retold by the Freshwater Informer

"Please take care on the mud as I found out it only takes once to get in trouble and my pride has taken a big hit. But thank you to the HM Coastguard and to the ambulance service," he wrote.

Richard Rodgers, Station Officer for Medway Coastguard Rescue Team, said: “This incident is yet another timely reminder of how unpredictable and dangerous our coastline can be at times, often when you least expect something to happen and even if you are a frequent coastal visitor for activities and pleasure. 

"In this instance, our Coastguard Rescue Teams from Medway and Sheppey responded quickly – putting into practice their expert mud rescue training skills – to assist the man in difficulty closer to the shoreline, along with additional support from the South East Coast Ambulance Service. This summer, we’re continuing to urge people to take extra care and if you become stuck in the mud, our advice is always the same ‘Stay calm, try and spread your weight as much as possible and avoid moving’. Please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Even when you know the coast well, it’s too easy to get into a sticky situation, especially when tides and mud/quicksand are thrown into the mix. Be safe not sorry, call for help, don’t leave it too late.

Don’t let it happen to you:

• Stay calm, lean back and spread your weight

• Check the tide times and weather conditions before setting out and leave extra time just in case

• Avoid moving or flailing in the soft mud or sand as you can sink even further

• Discourage others from helping, they might get stuck too

• Call 999 Coastguard 

With thanks to the Freshwater Informer for their kind assistance


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