Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

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January 6, 2006
Dog walker thanks Burnham-On-Sea rescue teams after mud rescue

A pensioner who was rescued by Burnham-On-Sea's hovercraft after being trapped up to his waist in mud at Brean on January 2nd, has sent a heartfelt "thank you" to coastguards and volunteers who raced to his aid.

Retired civil servant Ian Makepeace and his wife Sue from Evesham were walking their two dogs on the mudflats when Blitzy, a two-year-old terrier cross, ran off.

Rescued dog walker Ian Makepeace with wife Sue [Photo: BBC Points West]Sue told the Evesham Journal: "Looking back now I should have thought about how dangerous it could be walking on mud like that but when all I could see was a little speck of black in the distance I just panicked."

The hair and beauty technician at Evesham College added: "I just didn't think when Blitzy ran off. My instinct was to get her back."

As she ran off, her husband and the couple's other dog Sandy, a 15-year-old Jack Russell, followed.

Ian said he had walked about 100 metres from the high tide mark when he suddenly found himself sinking into the mud.

"I saw the mud was coming over my wellies and Sue was just a few yards ahead of me, as she's light in weight she managed to get out of the mud."

He added: "I managed to get out of the mud a couple of times but when I got stuck in it a third time I realised I was trapped."

Sue managed to free herself and dialled 999 on a mobile phone to call for help.

"While speaking to the 999 person to get help for Ian I kept squeaking my squeaky toy in the hope that Blitzy may turn around and come back. I was also sinking into the mud while walking but luckily I manage to wriggle myself out of it."

Ian said he remained calm throughout the whole ordeal as he had a great faith in the Coastguard Mud Rescue and the hovercraft rescue teams in Burnham.

The Coastguard Mud Rescue team from Burnham-On-Sea was alerted and using specialised rescue equipment waded Mr Makepeace free.

Station officer Steve Bird from Burnham Coastguard said: "The casualty was stuck deep in the mud and it took almost 15 minutes to dig him out. He was firmly trapped and needed our help."

Burnham's Spirit of Lelaina hovercraft went to the scene with two pilots onboard and both Ian and his dog were lifted onboard before being taken back to safety.

Ian added: "I knew they'd rescue me and I'd just like to thank everyone that helped free me from the mud on Monday. They couldn't have got there any sooner."

"Both the hovercraft crew and coastguard rescue team were very quick, efficient and professional about the whole situation I can't praise them enough."


Full story about this rescue

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