Clay county man stuck in mud for hours saved by first responders

Man describes waist-deep mud rescue

A Clay County man stuck in waist-deep mud for hours says he’s alive because of the first responders who pulled him out.

Robert Wilson was lost in a wooded area in the cold Tuesday night and when he got stuck in swampy water.

“The wind started blowing, and I got really cold, because I was already soaked,” said Wilson.

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The 58-year-old said he was out taking a walk, enjoying the scenery in Keystone Heights, when he lost his way. It soon got dark, and Wilson was walking through swampy land – when his prosthetic leg got stuck.

“It was just scary,” Wilson said.

Wilson had his phone on him, but at first he couldn’t use it because it was so cold.

“My fingers wouldn’t activate the phone,” he said.

In waist-deep water, he was eventually able to call for help.

“He was probably about a quarter-mile out into the swamp,” said Mike Lewis, lieutenant with Clay County Fire and Rescue.

“It was very woodsy, very swampy. We were wading through waist-deep water, and ended up getting deeper where we couldn’t get further where we were at,” said Lewis.

Lewis said they had a hard time getting to Wilson.

“We could hear him and he was on the other side of a real thick area. We just couldn’t get to him,” Lewis said.

But they eventually found another way to reach him, and about two hours later, they were able to pull Wilson out.

“Thank God for the firemen and the police,” Wilson said.

Wilson said he’s grateful for the men and women who did all they could to get him out. And he said he won’t be walking near a swamp anytime soon.