Dog walkers saved from drowning after bird watcher spots them trapped by rising tide in Longton Marsh
Two dog walkers have been rescued by firefighters after bird watchers spotted them trapped in water in Longton Marsh.
Three fire engines from Penwortham, Tarleton and Lancaster were called to Longton Marsh, near the Dolphin Inn, at 1.24pm on Sunday, March 24.
Two women, aged in their 40s, had ventured into the marshes with their dogs but had to be rescued after becoming trapped by the incoming tide.
Stranded on an swiftly diminishing island of marsh grass and surrounded by rising water, the women became increasingly panicked.
Fortunately, a bird watcher spotted the women from a mile away, frantically trying to reach dry land.
Chris Kelly, from Preston, had been taking part in a national bird count when he spotted the pair through his binoculars.
The quick thinking bird watcher immediately phoned his friend Peter Kenworthy, who he knew to be close to the scene, and told him what he had seen.
After calling the emergency services, Chris used his phone and binoculars to help Peter locate the the panicking women.
Following his friend's instructions, Peter soon found the women huddled together in waist-high water.
Using his local knowledge of the land and tide, Richard was able to guide the women to an area of shallower water.
Chris said: "We told them to head to a patch of higher ground where the water wasn't quite as deep.
"They were still cut off from the shore by deep water, but we were able to help buy them some time until the emergency services arrived.
"All we could do after that was try and keep them calm and keep an eye on them until help came.
"They were soaked to the waist and chilled to the marrow. As you can imagine, they were both very frightened by the experience.
"If you are not familiar with the marshes, it can be a hazardous place to walk.
"It certainly serves as a warning about walking along the marshes in Longton.
"People should be mindful of the perils that these dangerous marshes can pose."
Firefighters soon arrived and launched a water rescue mission using an inflatable sledge to reach the women.
The two women were then handed over to paramedics for precautionary checks.
Both women and their dogs were unharmed.