A man has been rescued after getting stuck in mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach with a fast incoming tide nearby.
Burnham Coastguards, the fire service and BARB Search & Rescue’s hovercraft were called to the town’s beach near The Pavilion on Sunday (June 12th) at 3.40pm.
A holidaymaker from Devon had got stuck in the mud after wandering to the tideline and then found himself surrounded in an area of deep mud and soft sand with a rapidly incoming tide nearby. A passer-by raised the alarm by calling for the Coastguard.
Two of the fire service crew were taken onboard the BARB hovercraft and flown the short distance down the beach to the person, who was safely helped out of the mud and flown up the beach to safety.
A fire service spokesman said: “Our control received a call from the Coastguard to a person stuck in mud near to the pier in Burnham-On-Sea.”
“Control mobilised the Specialist Rescue Team and a fire appliance from Bridgwater, 1 fire appliance from Burnham, and an Environmental Protection Unit with a support appliance.”
“Once on scene, crews confirmed there was 1 person stuck in mud up to their knees and the tide was fast approaching.”
“Due to the speed of the incoming tide fire crews donned flood suits and worked with Coastguard and hovercraft crews to rescue the person from the mud prior to the arrival of some en route crews.”
A Burnham Coastguard spokesman said: “After sinking up to his knees and not being able to escape the sticky confines, someone saw the man and dialled 999 and asked for the Coastguard.”
“Normally this is an easy job for us, but, being a small team and with a small number of the team on a course, our available numbers were low for around a two hour span.”
Slap bang in the middle of that two hour window this call came in.”
“When we arrived the tide was incoming and we knew things were going to change quickly.”
“Utilising the BARB hovercraft, who flew some of our fellow 999 Fire Rescue Service colleagues from Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station to the casualty, before hauling the stuck person onboard and returning them to hard standing, as the tide was rushing in.”
“This isn’t the normal response to our incidents but it shows the flexibility in the system and the value of all our services that when needed can group together to form an amazing team.”
“You will be glad to hear that we were quickly back up to full team strength and ready for the next call.”
“As always, we thank all those involved in this incident and the seamless working between the teams.”