Woman dug out of sinking mud at Brean Sands
Crews from Burnham-on-Sea and Weston-super-Mare along with the rescue hovercraft attendedby Heather Pickstock
A woman enjoying the sunshine at Brean with her family had to be rescued – after becoming stuck in the mud.
Food traders and the beach warden raised the alarm after spotting the woman stuck in the mud at Brean beach just before noon yesterday (Sunday).
Burnham Coastguard Rescue Team, Weston Coastguard Rescue Team and the Burnham-on-Sea BARB Rescue Hovercraft raced to the scene.
With the tide on the turn, rescuers launched two mud technicians complete with rescue sleds and they set off towards the stuck woman.
But due to the tide racing in, crews were forced to perform a ‘snatch rescue’ – physically digging out the woman from the mud.
A spokesman for Burnham Coastguard Rescue Team said: “The tide had advanced to a point where the sleds were no longer needed so after detaching from them they continued onwards to carry out what we term as a snatch rescue while the Weston Team set about providing safety cover with lifejackets and throwlines.
"We had the BARB Hovercraft at the ready in case it was needed in a hurry.
“The tide was rising ever higher and our two techs had to work quickly to dig her out and return her to the safety of the shore.
“What started out as routine walk out and walk them back incident turned into a dynamic ever-changing plan that required strong teamwork and fast working.
“We recently had an incident where the lady was up to her neck in water while stuck in the mud and we were keen to avoid a repeat if possible.”
The woman was freed from her ordeal and was accompanied back to safety where she was checked over by team members.
The spokesman added: “This goes to show how quickly our plans can change and how we need to be able to adapt to the ever-changing situation around us.
"This family's day changed quickly too after getting caught out by a really soft sticky patch of mud.
"We have seen time and again this year how much the beaches are changing every day with some really random soft patches appearing indifferent places after each tide.
"Thankfully we have a lot of eagle-eyed friends along our seven miles of sand and the often undervalued beach wardens who do the right thing and dial 999 asking for the coastguards without people calling it in we wouldn't be there to help so keep up the good work.”
Beaches across the south west are expected to be busy this week with temperatures soaring into the mid 20s as the UK enjoys a Septemberheat wave.
Anyone who sees someone in trouble on the coast should call 999 and ask for the coastguard.