BRAVE firefighters managed to pluck a man to safety after he got stuck waist-deep in a muddy riverbank.

Eagle-eyed students from Essex University had spotted the casualty was in trouble in the River Colne.

Realising he had become stranded and could not make his own way back to the shore, they dialled the emergency services.

Fire crews arrived in Haven Road, Colchester, and began the rescue mission with support from colleagues from other blue light services.


Picture - PCSO Emma Wright

The man, in his 40s, was stuck up to his waist and was approximately 20 metres from land when they arrived.

Firefighters used their specialist sea rescue kit and were able to winch him out after 45 minutes.

Onlookers said the man seemed to be wheeling or attempting to retrieve a bicycle out of the bank.

One woman said it was clear something serious was unfolding.

“There were blue lights everywhere,” she said.

“The police, fire service, ambulance and what looked like the coastguard were all there.

“It looked as if he was stuck near a bike or something similar to that.

“Hopefully he was all right in the end.”


Picture - PCSO Emma Wright

PCSO Emma Wright was one of the police officers called to the scene and praised all the emergency services for their work on the operation.

She said: “With the help of fast actions from two Essex University students calling 999 for a male who had fallen into the river at the Hythe, he was saved by Essex County Fire and Rescue.

“With great teamwork from the fire service, Essex Police and the East of England Ambulance Service he was confirmed as safe and let on his way home.”

The man was checked over by the ambulance service and was assessed as not needing any further medical treatment shortly before 7pm on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “We were urgently called to King Edward Quay in Colchester.

“It was around 6.10pm on Tuesday following reports and it was following reports that a man was stuck in mud.

“We sent an ambulance and ambulance officer but nobody required transporting to hospital.”