THIS WEEK IN 1999: Mudflats ordeal leaves teenage fisherman stranded in the dark

Teenage fisherman Ashley Twells reflects on his ordeal after being stuck on mudflats near Tipner Lake, Portsmouth
Teenage fisherman Ashley Twells reflects on his ordeal after being stuck on mudflats near Tipner Lake, Portsmouth
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A 13-year-old boy was rescued by Ministry of Defence police from mudflats after he went fishing and got stranded when the tide came in.

Ashley Twells was only minutes away from home but was marooned for almost 90 minutes near Tipner Lake, Portsmouth, when he lost track of time.

The teenager got stuck between a ledge and fence about 20 yards from the end of Twyford Avenue and was left clinging to railings and calling for help.

He said: ‘It was getting too late and too dark to try another way of getting back so I tied myself to some railings, because my fingers hurt from clinging on, and I waited there.

‘I was frightened because I didn’t know what was going to happen and then somebody spotted me hanging there and heard me calling for help.’

Police were called to the mudflats near the Mountbatten Centre but could not reach the boy.

Finally an MoD police boat reached him from the water and officers took him to safety.

Ashley’s dad, Maurice Twells, 45, said: ‘He is normally pretty good and goes out with an organised group. He is usually gone for a few hours so I wasn’t worried.