Schoolboys rescued in Hornchurch mud drama

A HALF-TERM fishing trip in Hornchurch turned to terror for three youngsters today (Monday) after they became wedged waist-deep in near-freezing mud.

The frightened trio – aged 11 and 12 – got into difficulty after wandering off a main path in a nature reserve near Goodwood Avenue.

Fortunately, a passerby spotted the hapless schoolboys and called rescue teams, at around 11.30am.

Around 25 firefighters from Hornchurch, Dagenham, East Ham and Millwall fire stations used special boats to help drag the youngsters to safety just before 12.30pm.

Watch manager Andy Smith, from Hornchurch Fire Station, who was in charge of the incident, said: “The firefighters all pulled together and did a great job, managing to rescue them using inflatable mud rafts.

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“The boys were very, very cold by the time we got them out. I reckon they’d been in there about an hour; they’d have been in real trouble if they’d been in there any longer. “They were quite frightened but they were really relieved to be rescued.”

The same crews were called to rescue a woman who had become trapped in mud around a month ago.

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Watch manager Smith added: “If you’re unsure of how stable the ground is you should stay away. Make sure you stick to the main paths – it’s so easy to get stuck in mud and you can sink much more quickly than you’d think.”

The boys were taken to hospital by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) but are not thought to be badly hurt.

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