75-year-old man in 'miracle' rescue after drone found him up to his armpits in mud swamp

75-year-old man in 'miracle' rescue after drone found him up to his armpits in mud swamp

Some people think cities are dangerous, with all the rampant crime and horrible drivers. But I think it's comforting to be surrounded by so many people. If something bad happens, you can yell for help, and someone will hear you. Sure, they might totally ignore you, but they'll hear you. To me, what's really scary is being stranded alone in the middle of nowhere.

The countryside is beautiful, but it can also be a pretty dangerous place. Peter Pugh, a 75-year-old man  from Norfolk, England, discovered that when he was walking home last Saturday. As he trudged through the muddy fields, he discovered the ground was becoming increasingly unstable. But rather than give up and try a different route, Peter decided to stay the course. He thought the path would improve up ahead.

Peter thought wrong. As he made his way through the marshes, he tripped and fell multiple times. The tide was coming in, but still, he forged ahead, believing he could make it. As the water level rose, he tried swimming, but his progress was obstructed by the dense reeds. All of a sudden, he was up to his armpits in mud, and couldn't move.

75-year-old man stuck in the marshes Credit: Norfolk Police

"I kept trying to escape but couldn't," Peter explained to the BBC. "I couldn't crawl because my feet got stuck and if I stood up and tried to walk, the same, they got stuck. So I thought at some point, hopefully, they'll start looking for me."

Peter waited all night in the Titchwell Marshes, hoping to be rescued. He worried that if helicopters came, they wouldn't be able to see him, because of all the thorny grass. There was nothing to eat, and in order to stay hydrated, he drank reed water. "It was such a shock to my system," said Peter. "I have to admit, I thought I'd be lucky to live, because I'm 75 and my heart's not going to be enjoying this."

Authorities rescuing missing man from marsh Credit: Norfolk Police

On Sunday, salvation finally arrived. The police sent up a drone, and spotted the missing man in the marshes.  "Without the police drone we would not have been able to locate him in the time we did," said Sgt Alex Bucher from Norfolk Constabulary. "It allows us to search areas that are difficult to access and within close range where a helicopter may not be able to get."

Emergency services arrived, which included the coastguard and a lifeboat. Thanks to their help - and of course, the drone - Peter was miraculously rescued. At the hospital, he was treated for hypothermia, but he was otherwise okay. "The emergency services and technology saved his life but he stayed alive because he was so fit," said his wife.

In total, Peter was missing for 22 hours, which is a long time to spend alone a swamp. As beautiful as the countryside is, I think I'll stay in the city for a while.