Mud Can Kill You

People don’t really think about mud being dangerous and how walking through it may quickly place you in a life-threatening situation completely unrelated to walking across your momma’s clean carpet with muddy feet (which can be quite dangerous for a kid’s backside but hopefully not lethal).

I was loading hogs onto a trailer with my husband after several weeks of wet weather. The pigs struggled through the wet clay mud onto the trailer, I stepped out to slam the trailer door, and sunk in mud a little above my knees. My boots were full. The thick clay mud sealed solidly against my legs. I could not move an inch. The mature hogs at about 1,000 lbs. each decided that the trailer wasn’t for them and leaped out. My husband shouted a warning but I was rooted as solidly in place as any oak tree. A big ol’ hog ran right over me and knocked me right outta my boots. So there I was, barefoot, luckily flat on my back stuck in deep, gooey mud, hair nestled in a mixture of mud and pigshit, the wind completely knocked out of me. I couldn’t even swear at the hogs. If I would have gone face forward, I would have drowned.

My husband reached a large hand out and yanked me to my feet, showing his tender concern for my plight by irritably demanding why in the hell I hadn’t slammed the trailer door shut on those hogs and what kind of dumbass stunt was that to just stand there instead of getting the hell out of the way when they jumped out the trailer because I hadn’t shut the frigging door?

I explained to him that I was STUCK and COULDN’T MOVE, DAMNIT, and stomped barefoot off to the house to shower off the impromptu pigshit spa treatment that I’d just received. The boots were dug out later.

When I read the following heartbreaking story about the swimmer that walked ashore and sank neck deep into mud and then fell face forward as the tide came in, I was horrified. What a terrible thing to happen, and there wasn’t a thing she could do to save herself. Be careful when you step in mud out there, folks. You don’t always know how deep it’s gonna be.

A woman wading in shallow water off Jacksonville’s Heckscher Drive died Friday afternoon when she became stuck neck-deep in St. Johns River muck despite a valiant, improvised rescue attempt by emergency personnel and a teenage good Samaritan.

Rescuers said she was likely stuck in the quicksand-like mud for a little more than an hour.

Tom Saffer and other firefighters from nearby Station 40 were called to the scene near the 7600 block of Hecksher Drive and the White Shell Fish Camp about 2 p.m. Two teenage motorists were driving by when they saw a woman flailing her arms and desperately struggling in the vice grip of dense river mud about 150 yards from shore.

The woman, who Saffer estimated was in her 50s but wasn’t identified, had been swimming with her boyfriend in the river when the tide moved away from shore. She grew tired and tried to walk back in but was instead sucked down.

Her boyfriend trudged through the mud to help her, but she lost her balance and fell face down in the mud while the tide started rolling back in.

That’s when 16-year-old Cody Overstreet, visiting from Georgia, sprang to action.

“He’s the real hero,” Saffer said. “He swam behind the tide and tried to get to her. Amazing job.”

Overstreet waited with the couple while emergency crews arrived.


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kae said,

    Oh that’s awfu.

    About the skin treatment, I’m sure it’s good for your skin!

  2. 2

    kcduffy said,

    This is just sad. And I’m glad you’re ok, Swampie. Hogs are nuthin’ to mess around with and it coulda been awful (awful-er, for those of us not actually hip deep in pigshirt).

    Think you can bottle & sell it as that skin treatment Kae mentioned?

  3. 3

    swampie said,

    This incident with me happened in the past before the state said that it was unconstitutional to have farrowing crates to protect the piglets. Our rare-breed sows were of an old, *very* rare breed, raised for flavor and lard. (And my, were they tasty! What bacon! What sausage! What hams! The crap you buy in the grocery store just does NOT compare.) Without protection for the piggies, though, it was a HUGE money-losing proposition, and the breed was pushed further along the road to extinction. I do not know if there are any left.

    When I saw the news report, it reminded me of when I was stuck and absolutely unable to move despite an avalanche of hogs headed my way.

  4. 4

    kcduffy said,

    I’m glad to hear you say that it was some time ago – I could not for the life of me remember any recent mention of your hogs…sheep, yes, chickens, dogs, cats…but no memory of hogs. Whew! Just me misreading, NOT me losing another piece of my mind.

    STILL glad you’re ok.

    Raising a pig for lard has to have been banned by Nanny State, I’d bet.

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