Pair winched to safety by RAF helicopter after getting stuck in the mud on River Medway
Two men have been winched to safety by helicopter after going out on an inflatable dinghy and running aground on the River Medway.
The pair - one suffering from severe hypothermia - got stuck in mud as they tried to walk back to shore yesterday evening.
But as they were about 800 yards from land, they had to be rescued by the RAF Sea King helicopter after the emergency services on the shore could not reach them.
Coastguard crews were sent to the river rescue. File picture
Dog walkers in Saxon Shore Way, Gillingham, spotted the pair at about 6.20pm and shouted out to them to see if they needed help.
The men were able to get themselves to marsh area on the river between Copper House Lane and the Riverside Country Park, where they remained until they could be winched to safety.
The Thames Coastguard tasked the Medway Coastguard team after receiving the 999 call.
"They were wet and had swallowed some mud and water and because they were so far out we made the decision to call in the RAF Rescue Helicopter to get them out..." - Richard Rodgers, Medway Coastguard
Crews from Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent Police and paramedics from South East Coast Ambulance Service were also sent to the scene.
Richard Rodgers, deputy station officer for Medway Coastguard, said: "They had been messing about in an inflatable dinghy and had managed to get themselves to Nore Marsh.
"They were wet and had swallowed some mud and water and because they were so far out we made the decision to call in the RAF Rescue Helicopter to get them out.
"It had been on exercise at the time so was already in the air so it got here within half an hour and winched the pair to safety.
"One of the men was suffering with hypothermia, so they were both taken to Southend Hospital in Essex."
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