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26 September 2016, 11:21
A 12-year-old boy has been rescued by firefighters after getting stuck in the mud shortly in a dried out pond in Tunbridge Wells.
He and a friend had been playing in woodland behind the community centre in Greggs Wood Road when they became stuck. The boy's friend managed to free himself, but he got sucked further in as he tried to get out.
A couple walking in the woodland spotted the boy and raised the alarm.
Tunbridge Wells Watch Manager, Iain Gross explained what happened: "After making the 999 call, the woman very sensibly met us on the road and led us to the exact area, which was really helpful.
"The boy had been playing with a friend in the woodland on a dried out pond, when they both got stuck in the mud. While one of the boys managed to get free, the other, in his attempts to get out, had worked himself further into the mud."
The area was quite boggy so fire crews used ladders to make a working area around the boy and dug him out to release the suction of the mud. He was checked over by an ambulance crew but was unharmed and in good spirits, despite having been stuck for around 45 minutes.
Watch Manager Gross : "Mud can be dangerous and unpredictable. It may look firm enough to walk on, but is incredibly sticky and can cause a vacuum under foot. The more you try to pull your way out, the more the vacuum holds you – which is what happened to this boy.
“If you find yourself stuck in mud, try to spread your weight as evenly as possible, avoid moving and stay as calm as you can. Discourage onlookers from attempting to rescue you as they are likely to get into difficulty themselves. Get them to phone 999 and ask for the fire service, we have the training and equipment to help get you out."