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Beach agencies unite to save man from mud under challenging circumstances

Officials help Terry Huss, 63, of Holland Pines ashore at the Dozier Bridge ramp near the 2500 block of Princess Anne Road on Saturday, March 26, following his rescue. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Officials help Terry Huss, 63, of Holland Pines ashore at the Dozier Bridge ramp near the 2500 block of Princess Anne Road on Saturday, March 26, following his rescue. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE

COURTHOUSE – Rescue officials helped Terry Huss, 63, of Holland Pines ashore at the Dozier Bridge ramp near the 2500 block of Princess Anne Road on Saturday, March 26, after the man spend hours trapped after chasing his dog into a swampy area. 

Huss became trapped in mud about 1.5 miles away from the bridge near West Neck after his dog took off during a walk. 

Officials from the city fire, police and emergency medical services departments participated in the effort to locate Huss, reach him by water, and cut a path to ensure his rescue after several hours in the mud. 

The dog, Jethro, was found with his owner and also rescued, officials said.

Police Capt. Michael Ronan, commanding officer of police special operations, said Huss chased after his pet, became turned around in a wooded area, and then became stuck. Agencies responded with a number of resources, including a helicopter. Ronan said Huss was able to tell emergency officials by phone that the helicopter was over head, at one point.

Rescue officials also said an emergency whistle helped them find Huss.

Ronan said fire, police and emergency medical services had a unified command throughout the hours it took to find and remove Huss, who ultimately was reached by water. 

Such collaboration is part of inter-department training, he said, for situations such as this one.

Rescue officials traved by water and cut a path through brush and limbs, and then they were able to remove Huss and take him back to a boat to be returned to shore. 

“It took a while to get out there because he was pretty far out there in the mud,” said EMS Capt. Christi Budy, part of the unified command. “The dog was with him while he waited.” 

Officials placed a sleeping bag around him to help keep him warm. He was taken ashore, and then transported to a hospital to determine whether there were lasting effects from the ordeal.

Betty Huss, Terry Huss’ wife, waited before he returned. She said she was thankful for the response by rescue officials.

Emergency Medical Services Capt. Christi Budy was part of the shared command that oversaw the rescue mission. It involved, EMS, police, fire and volunteer rescue officials. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Emergency Medical Services Capt. Christi Budy was part of the shared command that oversaw the rescue mission. It involved, EMS, police, fire and volunteer rescue officials. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Alex Diaz of Bayside helps bring a zodiac boat out of the water. The rescue happened on Diaz’s first day with the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Alex Diaz of Bayside helps bring a zodiac boat out of the water. The rescue happened on Diaz’s first day with the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Master Police Officer Brian Decker, a member of the marine patrol and dive team who helped in the rescue, came back muddy. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Master Police Officer Brian Decker, a member of the marine patrol and dive team who helped in the rescue, came back muddy. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]


© 2016 Pungo Publishing Co. LLC

The Independent News

One Comment

  1. Good job to all involved but don’t forget the ones who answered his 911 call and sent help to the scene. Truly an amazing event so glad everyone was safe at the end.

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