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Family of Five Saved from Rising Tide in West Wittering Mud

Specialist Training Proves Crucial in Navigating West Wittering’s Treacherous Mud

In a dramatic rescue operation on February 17, 2024, a family of five found themselves in a precarious situation stuck in the mud at West Wittering, with the tide ominously inching closer. The call for help, received at 12:44, triggered an urgent response from a consortium of emergency services, including the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service, Portsmouth Coastguard Rescue Team, and the highly specialised Selsey Coastguard Rescue Team.

The initial attempt to reach the stranded family by four members of the fire service proved challenging due to the treacherous mud conditions. It quickly became apparent that this was a job for the Selsey Coastguard Rescue Team’s Mud Technicians. These specialists, trained explicitly for such precarious situations, were deployed to navigate the hazardous terrain.

Family of Five Saved from Rising Tide in West Wittering Mud
Photo – Selsey Coastguard

Equipped with specialist mud rescue gear, the two Mud Technicians made their way to the beleaguered family. Their expertise and equipment were crucial in securing the family’s safety, demonstrating the importance of specialised training in mud rescue operations. The collaborative effort saw the family safely extracted from the mud and brought back to solid ground, where they were immediately attended to by waiting ambulance service personnel.

Despite the cold and frightening ordeal, the family was found to be in good health after being checked and warmed up by the ambulance service. They were fortunate to escape the situation without any serious injuries.

The incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by mud and quicksand, especially near coastal areas. The Selsey Coastguard Rescue Team took the opportunity to reiterate safety tips for the public, emphasising the importance of checking weather forecasts and tide times, heeding warning signs, avoiding hazardous areas, and knowing what to do if caught in a dangerous situation. The key advice for anyone finding themselves stuck in mud is to distribute their weight as evenly as possible, avoid moving unnecessarily, and immediately call 999 for the Coastguard, underscoring the message that preparedness and caution can save lives.

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