Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Firefighters rescue people sinking in mud

By The Canadian Press   

Headlines News

April 20, 2016, Windsor, N.S. - An eight-year-old boy was waist deep in thick, goopy mud and still sinking when he and a would-be rescuer were dug free, fire officials said Wednesday.

''When I came towards the scene there, the guys were yelling, 'They're still sinking,''' said Jamie Juteau of the Windsor Fire Department. ''When mud gets around you, it's like suction.''

''The problem is, you don't know where the actual bottom is there – we won't know had the people not intervened if he would've gone down further.''

Juteau said the fire department received a 911 call about the pair sinking on the mudflats of Lake Pisiquid in Windsor at about 6:15 p.m. Monday.

The boy had begun sinking while out playing, and the man became stuck after responding to his cries for help. A construction crew working nearby spotted the pair and threw down some sheets of plywood, said Juteau.

''When they laid the plywood out, that distributed the weight, and they were able to get out there and actually dig around a little bit with shovels to try to get them extracted,'' he said.

''Once you get the mud and stuff compressing against your chest, then it becomes difficult to breathe and then it can go a whole other way.''

Juteau said the boy was up to his waist in mud when he arrived, while the man was up to about mid-thigh.

Firefighters wearing rescue suits used shovels to finish digging the two out of the muck, he said.

''With the suction, they were really into (the mud). If you start pulling on them, you could really start causing some injuries to the joints and that type of thing. It'll hold you like concrete, if you're really into it.''

The boy and the man, who Juteau said were not related, were not injured.

''He's OK and I think he learned something out of it,'' said Juteau.

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