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Emergency services rescue man from waist-height mud in Sheppey

By Rachel O'Donoghue

A 74-year-old sailor was pulled from waist-height mud in a dramatic late-night rescue yesterday.

The man had left his boat to set his anchors when the vessel started listing and he was unable to climb back on-board.

The Kent Fire and Rescue crew from Sheppey was called to the incident, which happened around 500 metres from Queenborough Harbour, at at just after 9.40pm.

The man was recovered by a Fire Service Mud Rescue team. Picture: SECAmb HART

Because the tide was out, neither the Coastguard or Sheerness and Southend RNLI teams could reach the man by boat.

Firefighters in dry suits and a SECAmb HART paramedic used inflatable mud paths to reach him in a rescue operation that took more than four hours.

A number of emergency response teams attended the scene. Picture: SEACamb HART

Sheppey fire watch manager, Andy Bridger-Smart, said: "The gentleman was believed to be suffering from hypothermia.

"He was in good spirits, not at all worried, just more concerned for others than himself.

"It was fortunate that it was low tide, but we still had to work fast and hard because he was 20 metres from the low water mark."

The crews also helped the man's 70-year-old wife off the boat and both of them were returned to Sheerness docks via the Southend RNLI hovercraft.

The man was treated at the scene by paramedics before being transferred to hospital.

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