1:37pm Monday 15th April 2013
By Rene Gerryts
A HOLIDAYMAKER was trapped to his waist in mud on Seatown beach on Sunday after going to help his daughter.
Lyme Regis coastguard mud rescue team spent 30 minutes digging him out.
West Bay coastguards were out on patrol when the call came around 11am on Sunday. They called the Lyme Regis team which has the specialist equipment needed to get people out.
The man had gone to help his daughter who went onto the mud to avoid the large waves.
Lyme Regis deputy station officer Gerry Bearpark said: “The signs are out there warning everyone of the mud flows and that they should just keep off them.
“When we got there the father was stuck waist deep. With one leg stuck fast and one leg out on top.
“He’d been in there for about 15 or 20 minutes.
“He was 200 metres to the west of the main car park so we had our and the West Bay crew assisting carrying all the equipment.”
Coastguards need to build themselves a ‘platform’ of ladders and basket stretchers to work from so they don’t get stuck too.
The man, believed to be in his late 40s, early 50s, was checked by paramedics on the beach and spent 40 minutes being assessed in the ambulance before he was released.
Mr Bearpark added: “He was very grateful and thanked us very much for our help.
“I think he was surprised how quickly he got stuck – he was only about two or three steps in and that is what happens mainly. People don’t think it is going to happen so quickly.
“People need to be aware if they just step one or two paces in the mud will hold them and you don’t know the depth of it.
“It is very hard work digging them out, you have to be physically fit to do it.”
A coastguard spokesman said there were three major dangers when people get stuck – rising tides, hypothermia and hydrostatic ‘crush’ injuries.
The man was on the beach with his wife and three children on holiday from Cambridge when the incident happened.
The spokesman added: “At this time of year, the Lyme Regis coastguard team always carry out a mud rescue exercise at Charmouth. Due to the changing coastal landscape the team use this time to asses where the likely danger spots will be and how we would deal with those rescues in different scenarios e.g. changing weather and tidal conditions.
“We also use it as an opportunity to ensure that all the rescue equipment is working correctly; that includes ourselves.
“If you come across anybody, even animals stuck in the mud, please call the coastguard immediately. Do not attempt to carry out the rescue yourself. In the last three years, we have rescued just as many ‘good Samaritans’, all trying to help and becoming stuck themselves.
“If you become stuck in mud try to spread your weight as much as possible. If you have a mobile phone call 999 and ask for the coastguard. Avoid moving and stay as calm as you can. Discourage others from attempting to rescue you.”
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