EAST ANGLIA NEWS SERVICE, tel 07767 413379
Martin Kay, 67, and his loyal labrador Holly Blue get to meet the crew of the police helicopter and other officers who rescued him after he got stuck in mud at Thornham Magna, Suffolk.
EAST ANGLIA NEWS SERVICE, tel. 07767 413379
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Video footage taken from a police helicopter has revealed how a faithful dog stood guard for nearly seven hours after his owner got stuck in a bog of mud.
Pensioner Martin Kay, 67, became trapped after straying into the mud while on a walk with his black labrador Holly Blue.
He yelled for help as he collapsed, but nobody was around to hear his cries, apart from his pet who loyally stayed with him.
A friend raised the alarm around five hours later at 7.30pm on January 18 after arriving to pick him up from home and finding him missing.
By the time police arrived, friends and neighbours of Mr Kay had already begun searching for him on his usual walking routes at Thornham Magna, Suffolk.
The police helicopter based at nearby Wattisham was called and located Mr Kay with Holly Blue beside him at around 9pm.
Thermal cameras on the helicopter showed Mr Kay lying down in the darkness with his dog curled up nearby, illuminated by their body heat.
PCs Luke Allard and Clare Wayman were directed to the spot and tried to pull Mr Kay out of the bog, but became stuck themselves .
The pair covered Mr Kay with their jackets while waiting for other colleagues to arrive and free them all as temperatures dropped below freezing.
PC Allard and dog handler PC Neil Wisken then carried Mr Kay for around half a mile to the road where a waiting ambulance took him to hospital.
Mr Kay who was not seriously hurt later wrote to National Police Air Service to thank all those who helped in the rescue
He was invited to view the aircraft and meet with pilot Captain Steve Ashcroft, helicopter crew member PC David Bazlinton and the three PCs on the ground.
Mr Kay said: "It is marvellous to meet them and personally thank them for saving my life.
I dont remember much about the rescue the last thing I remember was that it was getting dark and then the next thing I woke up in hospital.
"I hadnt walked that route for about two years and when I came across the mud, I tested the ground at the side and it felt firm, but as I walked into the middle the ground began to sink.
"I called for help but nobody heard me and eventually I drifted off. I wasnt optimistic about being found, but I wasnt panicking it was too cold for that!
I wasnt optimistic about anyone hearing me but I thought someone would find me or someone wouldnt.
Speaking of his faithful pet, Mr Kay added: It was the first and the last time she had been called into action. Shes a very loyal dog. Shes quite well behaved most of the time!
PC Allard said: "The field was in the middle of nowhere and we were relying on the light from the helicopter and torch light.
When I got to Mr Kay I took hold of his hand and he wouldnt let go I told him he would have to let go or I wouldnt be able to help him.
If it wasnt for the thermal imaging of the helicopter we wouldnt have found him. I couldnt see him when I saw Holly Blue.
PC Wayman added: "He was completely covered in mud, covering his face as well as his body and we would have struggled to find him without the helicopter.
Obviously it was a field in the middle of nowhere with no street lights so we were relying on torches and the helicopter.
Luke and I couldnt get Mr Kay out on our own and were getting stuck ourselves.
PC Bazlinton said: "The thermal camera is looking for heat sources and as the fields were empty (with no livestock) we found the heat sources of Mr Kay and Holly Blue relatively quickly.
"This was a perfect example of team work, joined up between the helicopter, local officers and dog handlers. On our own we couldnt have done it, on their own they couldnt have done it, but together we could.
Martin Kay, a local elderly man, had vanished. Poof, into thin air this senior citizen had evaporated. The local P.D, was called in and what started as a grid search of the area, rapidly evolved into something far more complex and technological.
Martin could not be found, there was no trace of the man and worst, it appeared as though he had stumbled into the adjacent neighborhood forest. Night was slowly ebbing in, and soon the temperatures would drop. The police department had a tiny window of success before Martin’s life expectancy would dramatically drop.
With the aid of drones and helicopters, the fuzz went to the sky and started canvassing the woods. They employed thermal imaging hardware, a technological tool, that allowed them to cover great expanses with minimal effort.
With the utmost profession and with methodical discipline, the lawman’s managed to track Martin down. The man had lost his path, stumbled and fallen deep into a muddy bog. The marsh trapping him and pulling him down. Slowly sinking him like quicksand.
The more Martin struggled or panicked, the deeper he’d sink into the trap. In these sorts of predicaments, what will ultimately save you is a clear head and a calm demeanor, something, that given the situation does not come easily. Go to the next page for more!