An 11-year-old girl was rescued after getting stuck in knee-deep mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach on Wednesday (December 30th).
Burnham Coastguards and BARB Search & Rescue were called to the beach near The Pavilion just before 11.15am after a walker called 999 to raise the alarm.
The girl had been along the beach with her family, who are from Somerset, when she had got into difficulty in a patch of soft sand and thick mud.
A Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard spokesman said: “Lots of people are making full use of the beach for their exercise while we face current restrictions and with that comes an added danger that people can find themselves in sticky situations.”
“While on a much need walk along the beach to stretch their legs, a family found themselves in need of some help. Their 11-year-old daughter had been exploring the beach when she stumbled into a soft patch of the beach that was covered in a thin top crust of windblown sand hiding the soft sticky mud below.”
“Only a few metres away the beach was fairly firm underfoot where her concerned parents were doing the right thing and staying put keeping the young lady calm while someone called 999 and asked for the Coastguard.”
“When we arrived at our station we had a quick look over the wall for a brief visual assessment as she wasn’t too far away. Seeing that she was quite close to hard standing we asked the BARB Search & Rescue team who had been tasked to assist to just ready their hovercraft just in case. We already had our plan in action.”
“Two of our Mud Rescue Technicians were kitted up and attached to a stretcher each which the team carried as close a possible to relieve some of the exertions on the techs. Then the techs were clipped in and they dragged the stretchers to the young girl who was proving to be big and brave despite being stuck for a while.”
“The two techs reassured her and quickly set about digging her stuck welly boots out of the thick sticky mud. After freeing her feet they sat her down on the stretcher to ensure if there was any chance of a build-up of toxins which can happen if you have been stuck for a while, if you move them too quickly the toxins can flood the body causing health issues.”
“Once they were happy that she was not having any of these effects she was stood up and the stretchers were used as a short walking platform to the hard standing where she was reunited with her very relieved parents.”
“She was only a few feet away from firm ground and was very unlucky to have wandered into that soft patch with its well-disguised covering of sand that blends it into the surrounding beach, we often say that these mud spots are continually moving with every tide and this is a prime example.”
“Anyone can get caught out so we advise that if you do find yourself in the same situation then stay calm, try to spread your weight if you have a phone dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard if not then shout for help but discourage others from trying to reach you as they may become stuck too.”
“This family were very unlucky to have found one of their group in this situation, they were not far away from each other and it once again shows how unpredictable our part of the coastline can be. We all need some time out and the beach is the perfect place to do that.”