Trapped: Mud rescue
CHOPPER DRAMA: Rescuers save a woman who got stuck to her thighs in mud after walk along the beach
A young woman was rescued after becoming stuck in the mud at a Dublin beach.
A team of 20 emergency personnel were scrambled to come to the aid of the the red-faced rambler.
Howth Coast Guard was alerted by a 999 call from the stricken women, sparking the operation that cost over €2,000.
The French woman, who lives in Dublin, said she was trapped in mud in the Portmarnock area in North Dublin.
A rescue chopper from Dublin Airport was also deployed, as was Dublin Fire Brigade.
Colin Murray, the officer in charge at Howth Coast Guard, told the Herald the woman ended up in the mud after walking along the beach in Portmarnock.
"She went down along the bottom of the golf course. There is no exit down there," he said.
As volunteers from Howth arrived in the area, the airport helicopter was overhead conducting a search.
The woman was unable to give an accurate description of her location.
However, after about 10 minutes, the helicopter crew spotted her in the Baldoyle estuary behind the golf club.
The coast guard had two volunteers in dry suits standing by ready to recover the woman as the helicopter lowered their winchman to assist.
She was lifted to the safety of the golf course where the coast guard unit, the fire brigade and the gardai were waiting.
"Medically she was fine. The tide was out so she was in no danger of drowning," Mr Murray told the Herald.
He added: "She was grand, a little bit embarrassed [that she needed assistance]. But we don't mind that at all. That's what we're there for."
The woman, who is in her mid-20s, was in over her knees in the mud but in her efforts to free herself had become covered in the sludge. The operation took about 25 minutes, having started at 2.55pm on Sunday. The fuel costs for the helicopter are about €2,000 an hour.
Four crew members manned the helicopter, while Howth rescue team consisted of 10 volunteers.
Up to six personnel were also needed to man the fire brigade.
The numbers were necessary as the team did not know whether or not the woman would need medical assistance.
Mr Murray stressed that early intervention by the coast guard saved lives. "At the end of the day, we don't mind being called.
"We would rather be called out by somebody who thought they were in trouble than to collect a body," he added.
The woman was taken to the station house in Howth where she was cleaned up and then went on her way.