Woman rescued from mud as tide rushed in

Photo of mud rescue near Portage (from Girdwood Volunteer Fire Department)
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PORTAGE, AK (KTUU) A woman who was hooligan fishing along Turnagain Arm near Portage came within minutes of possibly drowning after getting stuck in the mud, with the tide rushing in quickly.

The Girdwood Volunteer Fire Department said the incident happened around 2:30 Friday afternoon near the 20 Mile River bridge along the Seward Highway.

Capt. Josh Heuer said when rescue crews arrived, the woman was stuck up to her knees, and the tide was sweeping in the rate of about one-inch per minute.

Swimmers with the fire department reached her quickly, and freed her within 15-minutes using special equipment, but within that short time the woman had sunk to her waist in the mud, and the water was up to her shoulders because of the incoming tide.

"It was a pretty dangerous situation" Capt Heuer said. "There's definitely the danger of the incoming tide coming in over somebody's head."

The woman, who was not identified, suffered mild hypothermia, but was treated at the scene, according to the Girdwood Volunteer Fire Department.

Large crowds of people fishing for hooligan often line the shores of the area at this time of year, and officials caution they to avoid mud flats.