By Lisi Merkley
PROVO, Utah (KSL) — A woman was rescued Sunday after spending around two hours stuck in mud at Provo Bay on Utah Lake.
The woman, 19, went out on a boat with her father, but their boat got stuck in the mud around 5:30 p.m. The woman got out of the boat to try to get it out of the mud, and in the process, she got stuck as well, said Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
She was up to her waist, or about 3 feet in the mud for about two hours.
The woman was taken to the hospital potentially with hypothermia, but Cannon said she was expected to be OK.
“It’s an interesting kind of a situation to be in, because a person can have some real serious risks to their health just from hypothermia,” Cannon said. “And when you’re out there like that — especially in the winter time — time is of the essence.”
The process of rescuing her was complicated by the conditions in the area. Cannon said the area is full of reeds that can get up to 6 or 8 feet tall and the water isn’t very deep.
Police and search and rescue teams had to use a special airboat that is designed to work in low levels of water to rescue the woman.
“It’s tedious to get to them and to be able to get them up and out of the water there because you have to be able to have some leverage to pull them, but you have to be careful,” Cannon said. “Because if someone’s stuck bad enough and you pull, you don’t want to be tearing muscles and tendons or dislocating joints.”
Sometimes trying to escape the mud can also cause someone to sink deeper, he said, and right now there’s the added risk of hypothermia from the cold.
However, this kind of situation is not uncommon. According to Cannon, it happens “at least once every other year, maybe once or twice a year.”
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