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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

'The more I wriggled, the worse it got': Beltinge woman Julie-Ann White relives rescue after sinking into mud at Reculver

18 March 2014
by KentOnline reporter

A woman has relived the terrifying moment she helplessly sank into the mud off the coast at Reculver.

Julie-Ann White, from Beltinge, rang 999 when she was submerged up to her thighs - and "the more I wriggled, the worse it got".

The 54-year-old, who was saved by firefighters and RNLI crews, has now thanked the emergency services and is warning others to be wary on coastal walks.

A woman was rescued after sinking into the mud at Reculver

A woman was rescued after sinking into the mud at Reculver

She was walking her dog on Sunday morning when she decided to go across the beach.

Julie-Ann said: "It all looked fairly firm, so I took a couple of steps which were fine but then on the third step, I suddenly started sinking and the more I wriggled, the worse it got."

After about 15 minutes of struggling, when she had sunk down to the level of her thighs, Julie-Ann rang 999 at 11.30am.

"It all looked fairly firm, so I took a couple of steps which were fine but then on the third step, I suddenly started sinking and the more I wriggled, the worse it got..." - Julie-Ann White

 

She said: "The fire engines were here within 10 minutes and then they needed to assess the situation as they couldn't see how they could get their equipment down to where I was, so the RNLI brought them closer in a boat and they used their mud paths to get to me."

Once crews had dug out Julie-Ann, she was taken to safety where she was checked by the waiting ambulance crews for possible hypothermia - but was given the all-clear.

She added: "I'm really quite embarrassed about it now, but I'm so very grateful to all the emergency services as they were brilliant.

"I'd been there for about an hour altogether and it could have been a lot worse.

"Thankfully I had my phone on me or it's possible I wouldn't have been spotted because although it was a sunny day, there didn't seem to be anyone about in that area.

"Clearly I'd warn others not to even try going out on ground like that because you never can be sure."

Two women and a dog were helplessly trapped in the mud at Bishopstone. Picture Herne Bay Coastguard

Two women and a dog were helplessly trapped in the mud at Bishopstone. Picture: Herne Bay Coastguard

Later the same day, two women and a dog had to be rescued after getting stuck in the mud at Bishopstone when they waded in to rescue the animal.

The trio were at the centre of a dramatic rescue operation at about 3pm, with fire crews in dry suits using mud paths to rescue them.

They were treated for shock and the effects of the cold by ambulance crews at the scene.

KFRS community safety manager Charlie Smith said: "We would urge people to be extra careful when they are out walking, especially in tidal areas and where the ground is still soft from the recent wet weather.

"As these incidents show, it is very easy to get stuck in mud and very difficult to get yourself out. I would advise dog owners to avoid putting their lives at risk to rescue their pets and instead call 999 to get assistance from trained professionals."

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