THIS WEEK IN 1976: David is a guinea pig in Portchester mud

The Skima hovercraft leaves the slipway at Portchester Castle
The Skima hovercraft leaves the slipway at Portchester Castle
jpns 090618 retro''Mum - Patricia Minter with four-day-old Ryan

THIS WEEK IN 1991: Baby Ryan defies 1,000-to-one odds

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There had to be better ways of spending a cold morning February, than being dragged, stinking and very dirty, from the mud of Portchester Creek.

But coastguard David Miles was doing it voluntarily.

He had cast himself as one of the many fishermen, birdwatchers, or yachtsmen who annually get themselves stuck and then need rescuing.

The guinea pig for a demonstration by Eastney Auxiliary Coastguards, David stood up to his knees in slime, waiting for a mini-hovercraft to skim to his aid.

John Andrews, the coastguard in charge at Eastney, explained why a dozen of his men and senior officers had given up their time to mess about in the mud.

He said: ‘The problem of people getting stuck is increasing and very serious.

‘Before, the only way to rescue someone was by helicopter, but we are now investigating the possibilities of using one of these mini-hovercraft.

‘Mud has tremendous suction and if a person is deeply embedded he can suffer internal injuries when a helicopter pulls him out,’ he added.