Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Fire Service urges public not to enter water to rescue someone

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging members of the public to call 999 if they see someone in distress in the water instead of entering the water themselves.

Earlier this month, two 12-year-old girls were stuck in the mud at Thorney Bay beach in Canvey and a man who went to help them got stuck when he tried to rescue them.

Two crews from Basildon Fire Station and the Urban Search Rescue Team at ECFRS were called to the incident on 6 September alongside the South Woodham Ferrers Coastguard and the RNLI. Canvey's firefighters had already been called to and were on scene at a road traffic collision.

The Coastguard and the RNLI used a hovercraft to reach the three people trapped in the mud. Firefighters treated the girls for the effects of cold water shock and left the man with the family who took him to hospital as a precaution. 

Crew Manager Jeremy Castle from Basildon Fire Station said: "We worked closely with the RNLI and Coastguard to get the casualties out of the mud as quickly as possible. We reassured them while they were stuck and gave them first aid when they were back on the shore.

"We're pleased to hear the girls have made a full recovery and we're glad to have played a part in the rescue. 

"While we appreciate it is instinctive to help when someone is trapped, we urge people not to enter water or mud because you might get stuck too. 

"Wait until the emergency services arrive to use their specialist skills and equipment to carry out a safe rescue." 

The family of one of the girls who were at the beach that day got in touch to thank the emergency services for their help.

Emiko, one of the girl's mum, said: "We would like to send an enormous thank you to the crews for all their hard work and wonderful support in saving lives and calming us in a very dangerous and stressful situation. 

"The girls are doing OK. They were professionally treated and supported by the amazing crews as soon as they were rescued. 

"Thank you so much again, all your efforts are very much appreciated." 

Shogo, one of the girl’s dad, said: "The girls were about 150 metres out, it was very shallow so it looked safe. The tide kept going out and it was so calm. 

"They started shouting for help and I thought they were kidding. A couple came past and said 'they're stuck in the mud' and the man went running in. I ran after him and when I caught up he said: 'Stop or you'll get stuck too' and I realised he was also trapped. 

"Someone on the beach called 999 and when the hovercraft arrived and pulled them out, it was a big relief."

Have you downloaded what3words?

Crews used what3words to help colleagues and other emergency services find the exact location as quickly as possible. 

what3words is a free smartphone app that has given every 3 metres by 3 metres square in the world a unique three-word address. The three words can then be used to pinpoint your location more accurately.

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Page last updated 17 September, 2021

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