Person trapped in mud as tide surrounded her rescued by RNLI Lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Lytham St Annes inshore lifeboat (ILB) crew freed her and brought her ashore

A group of people on a wooden jetty, the top of an ILB can be just seen on the other side

David Forshaw/RNLI

The scene at the end of Lytham Jetty with the ILB alongside

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 8.02pm on Saturday 24 April 2021 when a woman was reported stuck up to her thighs in the mud about 15 metres out from the end of Lytham jetty. The spring tide was flooding in quickly and without urgent help the lady would have been under water before long. She had been with her dog which made its way back to the jetty. The Lytham Coastguard Officer James Stannard had managed to walk across to contact the lady but the incoming tide was rapidly surrounding her.

The ILB left her boathouse behind the Land Rover to launch at Church Scar, opposite Fairlawn Road as the tide had not reached the jetty at that time so launching there was not an option. With Helmsman Rob Ansell in charge, the ILB was launched and quickly made her way upriver to the casualty who was by then waist deep in water with it rapidly reaching chest high. With the situation now critical with less than 10 minutes left before the tide would have reached her head, volunteer crew members Will Bridge and Felix Lilleyman leapt into the water and reached the woman. Will supported and lifted her while Felix went down shoulder deep to get her trapped leg free. With great effort this was achieved and the lady was placed in the ILB to be taken to the end of the jetty which was by now surrounded by the flooding water. Lytham Coastguard and the North West Ambulance Service were on hand there to take over care of the lady. It had been a close run thing but a successful outcome was achieved because of the speed, skill and determination to save her by the charity’s lifeboat crew.

The ILB returned to her boathouse at 8.40pm via Church Scar to be refuelled, washed off and checked over before the crew and shore crew could return to their 'Saturday night' at 9.15pm.

Assistance was given by Lytham Coastguard and the Ambulance Service who looked after the casualty when the ILB brought her ashore. The Fire Brigade also attended with an inflatable walkway but were unable to help as the water surrounding the lady would not allow it to be deployed.

The lady later kindly sent a message thanking the Lifeboat Station for rescuing her.

A lifeboat crew member in full gear

Jason Banks / RNLI

Crew member Will Bridge
a crew member in full gear in front of a lifeboat's bow

David Forshaw / RNLI

Crew member Felix Lilleyman

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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