Teenagers have relived the terrifying moment they sank into mud up to their waists leaving them stranded for more than an hour.
Alisha Hussein and Sean Fenton, both 14, had a “lucky escape” when they sank in the mud while walking on the flats in Wyre Estuary Country Park, Thornton, on Sunday night.
It’s worrying to think what could have happened
Their quick-thinking friend Amy Audsley, 13, immediately called 999 after the pair soon became submerged up to their midriffs at around 8pm.
But it took emergency services around 30 minutes to find the teenagers, all Year Nine pupils at Hodgson Academy, Poulton, due to the vast expanse of the river beds.
Today the children have paid tribute to the rescue teams who used specialist equipment to free them.
Alisha, from Thornton, said: “We were walking along the river and came across this mud pile we decided to walk along, there was a bit we had to jump over but I fell in.
“I shouted Amy and Sean for help but then Sean got stuck. As we tried to get out we kept sinking. It was really scary. Amy got out, called police and went to find help.
“We felt claustrophobic and could feel insects and things moving in the mud and it tightening around us.
“I was scared the tide was going to come in and I thought if they didn’t find us we might die.”
Emergency services said the youngster was suffering early effects of hypothermia when they got to her.
Sean said: “It was so scary so we were relieved when we could see the rescue teams.
“It’s worrying to think what could have happened.”
The children were taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and later discharged.
The trio went to Fleetwood Coastguard station on Monday to pay thanks to the team.
Majid Hussein, Alisha’s dad, said: “They were walking on the mud when Alisha started to sink.
“Amy got herself free and called for help.
“It was brilliant to be able to say thank you to the teams.
“And it made it really sink in for them how lucky they are.
“They’re very sorry for what happened.”
Alisha added: “I feel very lucky to be alive.
“It was quite emotional to go to meet them.”
Alisha’s mum, Kim Williams, 36, said: “The emergency services were brilliant, we can’t thank them enough, the coastguard especially – they’re heroes.
“They’re volunteers and they put their lives on the line to save others.”
‘We could have had three fatalities here’
The boss of the coastguard team who led the rescue of the teens has told of the perilous situation the trio found themselves in and how they were lucky to escape.
Mark Sumner, station officer for Fleetwood Coastguard, said: “The thing that really got us was that one of the them got out and they had phones working. If that hadn’t happened it’s likely we would have had three fatalities.
“In those circumstances there’s lots of things that can kill you, not just drowning.
“You can suffer hypothermia, toxic shock and hypotension from the hydrostatic squeeze.”
Six crew members from Fleetwood were joined by colleagues from Knott End Coastguard, and Bispham and Fleewood fire stations, as well as police and paramedics at the scene.
He added: “We’re not in this for the glory but it was really nice for the c hildren to come to say thank you.
“We all felt good afterwards.”