Walker rescued from thick mud at West Kirby

When a walker found herself stuck waist-deep in thick mud at West Kirby on Bank Holiday Monday, a multi-agency effort was launched to rescue her.

Hoylake RNLI hovercraft Hurley Spirit was tasked to the incident by HM Coastguard at 1.44pm on Monday 29 May. The casualty had been stuck in mud at the south end of West Kirby Marine Lake for some time before the alarm was raised.

The RNLI hovercraft and her volunteer crew launched and headed to the scene. Wirral and Flint Coastguard Rescue Teams, Merseyside Police and the North West Ambulance Service had also been tasked.

On arrival, the Hoylake RNLI hovercraft crew found the casualty firmly stuck in a channel of shallow water and unable to reach the shore across the hazardous terrain. The hovercraft landed carefully alongside the casualty and the crew deployed mud boards and mats around her to provide them all with a solid surface.

The RNLI crew were then able to swiftly extract the casualty from the mud and bring her on board the hovercraft.

She was assessed for any medical conditions and although she was feeling shock and the effects of the cold mud, she required no urgent treatment. Coastguard officers had crossed the beach with a stretcher, which the casualty was encouraged to use for further safety.

With reassurance from the RNLI crew and plenty of blankets to keep her warm, the casualty was flown ashore on the hovercraft and landed at Sandy Lane Slipway, where she was passed to the care of the Coastguard and ambulance service.

With the casualty safely ashore, the hovercraft returned to the lifeboat station for a thorough wash down.

Hoylake RNLI Second Coxswain and hovercraft commander Tony Warburton said.,“Our crew were glad we could assist the casualty to safety after she got into difficulty in thick mud, which is common to beaches all around the Merseyside coast.

“With more good weather on the way, we’re expecting many more people to head to the coast over half-term and would always advise visiting a lifeguarded beach, checking the weather forecast and tide times, and looking out for local safety signage.

“If you get stuck in mud, try and retrace your steps to safety or spread your weight as evenly as you can. Avoid moving, stay calm, and discourage others from trying to help as they may get stuck themselves. Instead, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard, who will send trained and equipped emergency services to help.”

Image: RNLI/Daniel Whiteley

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