Page last updated at 00:44 GMT, Monday, 22 December 2008

Elderly woman spends night in mud

Sheila Hill
Sheila Hill was walking her dog when she became trapped in mud

An elderly woman spent nearly 21 hours stuck up to her knees in mud on the banks of a Gloucestershire river.

Sheila Hill, 83, was out walking her dogs at noon on Saturday when she became stuck in mud along the River Severn at Deerhurst near Tewkesbury.

She was not discovered until Sunday morning by a man out walking.

Firefighters were called to help get her out and she was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital where she is now recovering.

'Good health'

Paramedics said she was suffering from shock and the cold but not otherwise injured.

A team of six firefighters used a rescue sledge to reach her over the mud.

Police said she was lucky to be alive after an ordeal lasting nearly 21 hours.

Inspector Marcus Griffiths from Gloucestershire Police said Mrs Hill "must have strayed into the area where there is mud at the side of the river and got herself stuck and sunk forward".

He added: "Another walker went past the area this morning, saw some movement and found her and contacted the emergency services.

"Fortunately it was not a particularly cold night or that we had had any flooding, which that area is prone to.

"If it was last weekend when we had a lot of rain it may have been a different story but she is quite fit and in good health for her age."

The dogs were returned safely to their home.

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