Girl rescued from waist-high mud near the Mississippi River - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Girl rescued from waist-high mud near the Mississippi River

The rescue happened near the observation deck. The rescue happened near the observation deck.
NEW MADRID, MO (KFVS) -

A girl was rescued from waist-high mud Wednesday afternoon in New Madrid.

According to New Madrid Fire Fighter and EMT Jim Russell, at around 1 p.m., a family was fishing from the bank of the Mississippi River in New Madrid roughly 200 yards south from the New Observation Deck.

An 11-year-old ended up sinking nearby in some mud up to her waist.

Firefighters and city crews were called and rushed to the scene. Rescue crews put a rope around the girl immediately to stabilize her from sinking any further.

Russell says the spot she was in acted just like quicksand.

Fire fighters and city crews built a make-shift platform around her so they wouldn't sink while trying to save her.

Crews started taking handfuls of mud trying to dig her out.

Russell says the crews on the make-shift platform started sinking as well.

Crews dug down until they exposed her feet and then several people helped pull her out and brought her up to the surface.

"Once we got down there we found out it was too soft to operate right around her it was too soft for us to even get in there we found a flat piece of concrete laid it right next to her," said Russell. "We secured her with a rope first so she wouldn't sink any deeper then we started digging and once we freed her feet and legs out then we were able to haul her up a d the rest of the crew was able to pull her on out."

It  took about 15 minutes to get her out. The girl did not receive any injuries.

Russell says this muddy bank is a common place for people to go fishing.

"People fish down there all the time if you come down here and know what you're doing and just don't play in the mud you're fine but the problem is if you get the playing in there, you get in the edge you get stuck its going to suck you in down if you're over on the sand, the sand bars and stuff there is quicksand in there and you can't tell either one when you walk on them," said Russell.

He says this area usually is underwater but river levels are 10-12 feet lower than usual.

Russell says fire fighters and city crews responded very quickly and avoided a dangerous situation that could have been much worse.

The girl told Heartland news her parents tried to dig her out, but couldn't. She said she wasn't scared, but knew she couldn't struggle because she would just keep sinking further. She said he family had never fished in the area, and didn't know to be wary of the sand.

Russell said with the low river levels, people have to be careful.

"What happens is that mud is water logged, and as you walk on it becomes spongy and as it becomes spongy it liquefies, and if you play on it long enough it will suck you right on down in there," said Russell. "A lot of what you see out here now is not normally where you see the water level were at minus three which has escaped a lot of area which is mud across the river in the sand we have quicksand."

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