A TEENAGE girl stuck chest deep in mud near Crosby shore was rescued by a Wirral lifeboat crew.

New Brighton RNLI went into action after receiving a call that the young woman was in difficulty on Wednesday afternoon.

Its hovercraft -  H-005 Hurley Spirit-  was launched with a crew of four on board and quickly crossed the Mersey estuary.

On Crosby beach RNLI Lifeguards kept people calm and away from the scene, warning of the dangers in the area and directing the hovercraft to the casualty.

Meanwhile the HM Coastguard mud rescue teams were preparing to deploy their equipment when the hovercraft arrived.

Hovercraft senior commander Graham Lowe said: " Approaching the area we found the casualty was about half a mile out from the Crosby beach, about half the way along and about 10metres out from the sewer outlet pipe, in an area of very soft sand and mud.

"The casualty was deeply embedded in the soft mud and had been stuck for approximately 40 minutes.

"She was very frightened and cold, even though it was one of the hottest days of the summer the mud just drains away body heat.

"Our pilot, Chris Henderson, skillfully brought the hovercraft to within a few inches behind her.

"Myself and crewman Mike Jones then deployed mud mats around her and these gave us a platform to work from.

"We were reaching down into the goo and managed eventually to release her legs and haul a very relieved young lady onto the hovercraft.

"With reassuring words and wrapped in a blanket we flew her to Crosby beach and awaiting ambulance and paramedics.

"This area of beach has many shifting areas of soft mud and sinking sand which can catch out both visitors and locals."

Mr Lowe added: "It is vital that attention is paid to the warning signs on the beach and be aware that the tide can come in very quickly in this area.

"On this occasion it was fortunate that the tide was out otherwise the outcome may have been tragic.'