Race to rescue couple stuck waist-deep in quicksand on Cumbria beach

Teams battled against incoming tide to prevent drowning

Updated: 
Couple stuck waist-deep in quicksand on Cumbria beach rescued

A elderly couple had to be rescued last week after sinking waist-deep into quicksand on a beach in Cumbria.

The couple, in the 70s, from Cheshire, were enjoying a nice stroll at Humphrey Head, near Grange-over-Sands, when they got stuck.

See also: Is this the most dangerous beach in the world?

See also: Couple stuck in 'lethal' quicksand on Cumbria beach spark emergency rescue


The rescue was a joint effort between the Bay Search & Rescue, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, Liverpool HM Coastguard, and RNLI Morecambe.

The teams described the male as being in a very serious situation, with the risk of sinking up to his neck while racing against an incoming tide being a real threat.

Couple stuck waist-deep in quicksand on Cumbria beach rescued

A member of the Bay Search & Rescue team wrote on the group's Facebook page: "The team was paged at 12:10hrs today (4 September) by HM Coastguard to an elderly couple trapped in quicksand at Humphrey Head, near Grange-over-Sands and with an approaching tide due.

"Our first team arrived on scene with Hagglund 1 shortly after the RNLI Morecambe Hovercraft.

"The RNLI team quickly rescued the lady, but the gentleman was over waist deep in quicksand in a very treacherous area.

"Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service and Coastguard rescue teams from Furness and Arnside arrived on scene and were transported along with the ambulance crew to the scene by our Hagglund so they could assist.

"We deployed a 4-metre rescue path and quick sand water pump and BSAR team members worked with the RNLI crew and Coastguard crews extracting the casualty in about 20 mins.

"Helimed from North West Air Ambulance Charity attended and landed on Humphrey Head.

"The casualty was lifted out on stretcher and examined by Helimed doctor on the Hovercraft but the stretcher transfer to the helicopter was deemed too risky so the couple were flown across a channel by the Hovercraft and transferred to BSAR Hagg1, which then transported them and all the rescue crews and equipment back across the marshes and gullies to the RV point and waiting ambulance at Humphrey Head Carpark.

"A great example of multi agency working and thanks to all involved."

Couple stuck waist-deep in quicksand on Cumbria beach rescued

The couple were taken to hospital, where they were treated for hypothermia.

Speaking to the Mirror, a spokesman for Bay Search & Rescue said: "These jobs do not come around often - no one ever dies from being stuck in quicksand, but they were in real danger of drowning because the tide was coming in quickly.

"They were lucky we had all the right equipment to free them and carry them 60 feet using the hovercraft to take them to hospital."

And Coastguard spokesman Joel Harding told the BBC: "Considering they were in the sand up to their waists for over an hour, they came out of it quite well and only appeared to be suffering from mild hypothermia."

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