Man Rescued from "Quicksand Mud" in Centerport Harbor


By Nolan Cleary

Centerport firefighters rescued a man trapped in deadly "quicksand mud" at low tide at Centerport Beach.

The man was already waist-deep in the sticky mud slurry - and sinking fast - when firefighters arrived to rescue him. He was trapped and helpless, and every movement he made sank him deeper into the mud.

The incident occurred on the morning of Friday, July 15th, according to officer Steve Silverman.

The man, in his 60s, was "stuck pretty good” according to Chief Kyle McLaughlin. "He was relieved and said, 'Thanks for rescuing me.'"

According to McLaughlin, the man went into the end of Little Neck Road in Centerport. He attempted to walk into the shallow areas. McLaughlin said every movement the man took sank him deeper into the mud.

A couple living near the beach noticed the incident, and called 911 at around 7:30 AM.

The Centerport Fire Department was assisted by the Halesite Fire Department, which providing a rescue hovercraft. A paramedic unit was was also called in by Centerport firefighters.

Quicksand is described by scientists as a colloid mix of water and fine granular material such as sand or mud. It creates a liquid-soil that cannot support weight, so people and animals get trapped and sink until they reach a level of buoyancy - usually only 5%.

Because the quicksand surrounds people and animals, they often struggle and thrash around until they die of exhaustion or hypothermia.