Pictures show rescue mission after man gets stuck waist deep in mud at Ladybower Reservoir
This is the moment a man managed to keep smiling despite being pulled from chest-deep MUD at a Derbyshire reservoir by mountain rescuers.
Shaun Taylor, 64, was on the cusp of hypothermia after he was swallowed by 5ft deep mud at Ladybower Reservoir.
The dad-of-two sunk after going to rescue his fiancée Julie Taylor, 57, whose feet were stuck after she went in after their cocker spaniel Charlie.
But despite his dog and partner getting free, pharmacy worker Shaun stumbled backwards into a sinking 'mud hole' - and then slipped deeper until it was up to his chest.
Walkers and local rangers tried to help Shaun, and after an hour Edale Mountain Rescue arrived at the scene, pulling the dad out the mud.
Shaun said: “I’m the type of person that, if I’m quite distressed, I start laughing and joking.
“I didn’t want to upset Julie who was already quite worried but I was pretty terrified.
“When we realised we didn’t have any signal on our phones that’s when we were banking on a stranger walking by.
“Luckily there were two of them.
“Charlie wouldn’t leave my side - he must have sensed something wasn’t right.
“By time the emergency workers came started to get dark and I could feel the hypothermia setting in.
“I was completely lodged in. When one of the rescue workers started using a spade to help dig me out I could feel it but couldn’t do anything about it.
“I’m still completely bruised by it.
“When I was pulled out I remember my legs shaking but this incredible burst of adrenaline.
“I was aching for days - and I still am almost three weeks on.
“I’m incredibly thankful for my rescuers.
“We even made a donation to the volunteers just to say a big thanks.
"I would just tell other visitors to watch where they step. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone."
The accident happened when Julie ran over “the mosaic looking mud” after seven-month-old Charlie.
Shaun rushed to help his partner of 13 years out of the mud but after pulling her left leg out, stumbled backwards into a sinking mud hole.
Neither of the pair had signal, but ten minutes later two strangers spotted the couple and ran over to help.
The two men helped Shaun while Julie ran to the rangers station, a 45 minute walk away, for help.
The couple, from Sheffield, have thanked rescue workers for their help and are warning others to be vigilant.
Julie said: “We’re regular visitors, we often go there two or three times a month so it's not as if we don't know the area.
“I took Charlie off of the lead while we were walking but an hour in he started to wander.
“I didn’t give it a second thought.
“The mud looked like a floor of mosaics so I just went off after him.
“I chased after him so I could put him back on the lead but before I knew it I felt my leg plunge into some mud.
“Before I knew it, it was up to my thighs.
“I was worried I wouldn’t make it out so I threw Shaun my mobile phone.
“He came rushing over but in playing the hero Shaun ended up walking backwards and sinking within seconds.
“He’s 6ft 5 and is 21 stone so he was sinking at a faster rate than I was.
“I knew I couldn’t help get him out in the same way so there was nothing I could do.
“But I didn’t want to leave him as I could see he was sinking.
“Luckily after ten minutes these two men had spotted us and were incredibly eager to help.
“When I left him the mud was up to his thighs.
“He’s also a diabetic which made me even more worried.
“When I returned an hour later he was waist deep."
Liam Adkins, 32, one of the walkers who helped Shaun, said: “When I first clocked eyes on Shaun I just thought ‘Oh my god'.
"He was completely wedged in.
"He seemed in good spirits but at times he did look pretty terrified.
"He could hardly walk when he was pulled out. He was shaking all over.
"I'm just glad he was alright and we were able to help."
Dry conditions in recent months low water levels at Ladybower Reservoir have exposed the remains of Derwent, an abandoned WWII village.
The rare sight of the "exposed village" has attracted many people to the reservoir, which has lead rescue workers to issue warnings.
A spokesman for Edale Mountain Rescue Team said: “We were called to an incident on November 3.
“The team was able to access the casualty with a variety of specialist equipment designed to spread an individual's weight over a muddy surface.
“After approximately 30 minutes of digging was able to free the gentleman and walk him back to solid ground
“We’ve had over 100 incidents this year and while we do welcome people to admire the sights we do ask visitors to pay heed to the warnings.
“Some of the surface looks like ‘rice pudding with skin on’ and may look solid it’s not.
“We invite visitors to come and see the ruins but advise them stick to the shore.”