Rescuers free quicksand cyclist16/06/2012 - 19:16:27
Coastguard officers in Britain faced a race against time today after a cyclist sank up to his waist into quicksand on a beach.
The 51-year-old man dialled 999 after sinking into the mud near a track between Milford on Sea and Barton on Sea, Hampshire, just before 2pm, a Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokeswoman said.
By the time Coastguard rescue teams reached the man the mud was up to his waist. The cliff above him also posed a further risk as it was showing signs of collapse, the spokeswoman said.
She said the man had been walking along the beach with his bike when he noticed that the tide was coming in.
As he tried to make his way further up the beach his trainers became stuck, and in attempting to take his shoes off, he found himself sinking into the mud up to his knees, she said.
“At this point he decided to call for help,” the spokeswoman said.
Solent Coastguard sent rescue teams from Lymington and Southbourne to the track at Taddiford Gap with a specialist Coastguard mud rescue team from Hillhead.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and the South Central Ambulance Service also helped with the rescue.
The spokeswoman said: “By the time he was finally rescued, at just before 2.40pm by a combination of Coastguard and fire and rescue equipment, he had continued to sink up to his waist.
“There was also the added risk of the unstable cliff above him showing signs of imminent collapse.”
Mike O’Sullivan, Solent Coastguard Watch Manager, said: “The heavy recent rain and incoming tides can create areas of quicksand which quickly suck you in.
“If you become stuck in mud you should try and spread your weight as much as possible and if you have a mobile phone dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
“Avoid moving and stay as calm as you can. You should also discourage other well-meaning members of the public from attempting to rescue you because without the proper equipment they could become stuck too.
“Before you set out to explore the beaches and coastline in your area always remember to check the times of high and low water and plan your trip accordingly.”