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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 July 2006, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
10,000 cost of team's mud rescue
A coastguard officer talks to the rescued girls
Concerns were raised because of the incoming tide and mud
The cost of saving seven bikini-clad teenage netballers who got stuck in the mud at a Somerset beach was more than 10,000 rescuers have said.

The youngsters, from Essex, were sucked into quicksand up to their waists a mile from the shore at Brean on Friday.

An RAF helicopter, two lifeboats and a hovercraft were called in to help.

"They got a good ticking off from the coastguard given the resources used," said Mark Newman, from the Burnham-on-Sea hovercraft team.

There were ten people from the hovercraft, ten from the coastguard and from the RNLI, and then you had the helicopter from Devon, it all adds up
Mark Newman
Burnham-on-Sea Hovercraft
The helicopter, which was scrambled from RAF Chivenor in Devon, and the lifeboats, were stood down when the girls managed to free themselves, but the cost of the call-out is thought to have reached five figures.

Mr Newman said: "There were ten people from the hovercraft, a further ten from the coastguard and a similar number from the RNLI.

"And then you had the helicopter from Devon, it all adds up - the girls were surprised by the reaction - they didn't understand the risks they were putting themselves in."

The team had been staying at a holiday camp in Brean, and are thought to have wandered too far out onto the mudflats without realising how dangerous they can be.

Earlier this year a car was lost to the waves after it was sucked into the mud and caught by the incoming tide - the vehicle's occupants were rescued.

In 2002 five-year-old Lelaina Hall, from Worcester, died after becoming trapped near the site of Friday's rescue during a family holiday.




SEE ALSO
Teenagers rescued from mudflats
30 Jun 06 |  Somerset
Horses trapped as sand gives way
08 May 06 |  Somerset
Jet-skiers saved as mud traps van
18 Apr 06 |  Somerset
Pair rescued from quicksand car
13 Apr 06 |  Somerset
Dog walker saved from rising tide
03 Jan 06 |  Somerset

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