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Lynsey thanks her rescuers

PUBLISHED: 18:30 15 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:11 03 March 2010

RESCUERS have today been praised by a nine-year-old girl after she became trapped in mud on the banks of the River Orwell.

Lynsey Burgess became stuck on mudflats opposite Levington Marina, near Pin Mill, on Sunday afternoon while walking her uncle's dog with her sister Amy, seven, and two 12-year-old friends.

RESCUERS have today been praised by a nine-year-old girl after she became trapped in mud on the banks of the River Orwell.

Lynsey Burgess became stuck on mudflats opposite Levington Marina, near Pin Mill, on Sunday afternoon while walking her uncle's dog with her sister Amy, seven, and two 12-year-old friends.

Lynsey, a pupil at Castle Hill Junior School, in Ipswich, followed the dog onto the mudflats and quickly found herself knee-deep in the sludge.

"I went to go and get the dog's stick and both my feet got stuck. I thought the water was getting closer, so I was quite scared. My right foot was also trapped with all my weight on it and it was very sore," she said.

A sailor on a passing boat called the emergency services, but before the Coastguard could get to the scene, a group of men who had just docked at Levington Marina after completing their Royal Yachting Association National Powerboat Certificate, learned of Lynsey's plight.

They immediately set off across the water to the other side of the river bank and one of the men, who was still wearing his dry suit, scrambled over to the cold and frightened girl and lifted her to safety, leaving just her trainers embedded in the mudflats.

Lynsey, who was staying with her uncle who lives at Shotley, said: "They asked me my name, address and telephone number and kept me talking. One of the men had the nickname Sleepy. He was really nice and lifted me up from the boat and carried me to the ambulance. I would like to say thanks to all of them."

Her mother Wendy, of Pinecroft Road, Ipswich, said: "I first heard she had been in trouble when the police phoned to say that Lynsey had been in an incident and was in an ambulance on the way to hospital.

"I panicked, even though the officer told me she was okay, as I was worried about my other daughter Amy, who was with her at the time and the police officer did not know where she was. When I got to the hospital, I was told the others were all fine, so it was a big relief."

Mrs Burgess said she was now acutely aware of the dangers of playing on muddy riverbanks and would be making sure her daughters were more careful in the future.

The family will also be sending their thanks to all the men who helped with Lynsey's rescue.

"Lynsey has asked me to find out who the men were who rescued her so she can send them all a thank you card," added Mrs Burgess.

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