Pensioner saved after sinking in manure up to his neck while trying to rescue dog

‘I felt like I was digging my own grave. I was gradually giving up and didn’t think I was going to make it’

Chiara Giordano
Wednesday 20 February 2019 16:31
Pensioner saved after sinking in manure up to his neck while trying to rescue dog

A dog walker got stuck up to his neck in manure as he tried to rescue his pet.

Brian Marshall waded into the thick sludge in a field to help his Jack Russell Archie, but soon found himself sinking into the mud.

The 75-year-old said he was on the brink of giving up, when fellow dog owner Matt Hollick heard his cries for help as he left a nearby veterinary clinic.

Mr Hollick then raised the alarm and firefighters arrived just as Mr Marshall’s head began to sink into the sludge.

“I felt like I was digging my own grave,” he said. “I was gradually giving up and didn’t think I was going to make it.”

Brian Marshall found himself stuck in manure in Upper Caldecote, Bedfordshire 

The drama unfolded as Mr Marshall enjoyed a walk near Upper Caldecote, Bedfordshire with Archie and his other dog Bella.

He said he had no choice but to go in after Archie because to see his dog drown before his eyes “was not an option”.

He said: “Using the Duke of Edinburgh’s words, ‘I had been a bloody fool, and there was no one but me to blame’.”

Trapped in the sludge, he began shouting for help and the wind carried his voice towards nearby Elizabeth Smith Veterinary Practice.

Mr Hollick heard his pleas as he loaded his dog into his car after an appointment.

Fire and ambulance crews arrive to rescue Mr Marshall 

Writing about the experience on social media, Mr Hollick said: “It’s not every day you take your dog to the vets as it ate raisins, to emerge having saved a guy’s life in a farmer’s field.

“I was placing the dog in the car and taking after care advice with the vet. I could hear a faint cry for help which was being carried on the wind which was blowing in my direction. Three more calls of help later and I took off to investigate. I was greeted by an enormous muck slurry pit with a man stuck in the middle and sinking below the surface.”

Mr Marshall with his Jack Russells Archie and Bella 

Mr Marshall had to be treated in hospital for hypothermia after being stuck for nearly an hour by the time fire and ambulance crews reached him.

They used an inflatable hose, inflatable rescue paths and dry suits to pull him out of the pit.

The pensioner, from Ickwell, in Bedfordshire, was full of praise for Mr Hollick’s actions, and also thanked the emergency services and wellwishers.

A spokeswoman for the fire service said: “If you ever find yourself in a position where a pet or other animal is caught in water, mud or in this case a muck heap, please call 999 immediately for advice before getting yourself in to a situation where you are unable to tell emergency services where you are or more seriously putting your life in danger.”

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