Fire Service urges public not to enter water in rescue attempts

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.”

Mick Ferris

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