Rising tide sets clock ticking for pair trapped in mud

Rising tide sets clock ticking for pair trapped in mud

Members of the public were praised for dialling 999 when a rising tide set the clock ticking for two people stuck in mud.
Antony Gormley sculpture at Crosby beach

The emergency started when a man and a woman got into difficulty together on the beach at Crosby, Merseyside - famous for its cast iron sculptures by artist Antony Gormley (pictured).

The man was able to extricate himself, but the woman sank even deeper until she was trapped up to her waist.

With the water coming in and time running out, the situation triggered a big response including mud technicians from Crosby and Wirral Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRTs) and the RNLI’s hovercraft from Hoylake.

Working with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, the CRTs freed the woman after about 45 minutes.

When the alarm was raised at about 10.55am the water was about a mile off. By the time she was out, the fast-flowing tide was just 200 metres away.

The mud at Crosby beach
The surface at Crosby beach can be deceptive

The pair were walked safe and well back to shore by Crosby RNLI Lifeguards and handed into the care of the North West Ambulance Service for a check-up. Merseyside Police also attended.

Helping to oversee the operation from HM Coastguard’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Holyhead was Alexander Hill, Senior Maritime Operations Officer. He said: “This was a good example of a range of agencies working together for the swift and safe rescue of a casualty from deep in the mud.

"Members of the public also deserve praise for doing the right thing. They called 999, asked for the Coastguard and stayed safe – instead of going onto the mud themselves, getting stuck and adding to the danger.”

As well as the risk of drowning from the rising tide, mud emergencies also bring the potential for injury from pressure cutting off blood circulation – known as hydrostatic squeeze.

Michael Buratti, Coastal Operations Area Commander, added: “Mud and quicksand can be hidden dangers as risky ground is not always obvious, so watch out for warnings and be aware of tides and weather forecasts.

“Avoid crossing estuaries and walking through mud where there can be unseen channels of fast-flowing water.

“If you do get stuck, sit back to spread your weight evenly across the surface. Stop others from trying to help you, as they might get stuck too, and call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

For tips about keeping safe near mud on the coast, click here.


Share this page

Report a problem with this page

Help us improve hmcoastguard.uk

Don't include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.