Faithful dog “saved life” of man stuck in mud for eight hours in Suffolk

Martin Kay is back home with his dog Holly Blue. Martin fell whilst walking Blue in fields near his

Martin Kay is back home with his dog Holly Blue. Martin fell whilst walking Blue in fields near his home. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Martin Kay feared he would die when he became stranded in remote Suffolk fields for almost eight hours – but he was saved by his faithful labrador.

Mr Kay is back home with his dog Holly Blue.

Mr Kay is back home with his dog Holly Blue. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The 67-year-old had taken a diversion from his usual route walking five-year-old Holly Blue at around 2.15pm on Monday, and fell into some churned mud, unable to get up. As the night drew in and temperatures dropped, Mr Kay lost consciousness – but devoted Holly Blue never left his side.

A search party had been formed by police officers at Thornham Parva, near Diss, and the helicopter began sweeping Mr Kay's usual walking route. Unable to locate him, their heat-tracking device later picked up the signal of both man and dog in a field close to Eye.

'I don't think I would have survived the night,' said Mr Kay. 'I have been very lucky. She saved my life.'

Mr Kay had headed in the direction of Yaxley, hoping to visit a friend, who wasn't home.

Mr Kay was unable to get up again and was the subject of a police search.

Mr Kay was unable to get up again and was the subject of a police search. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016


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'It was not my regular route, and that turned out to be the problem,' he added. 'At one point I went through a gateway with a lot of mud which had been churned up.

'I thought I could get across it, but it wasn't frozen enough. I fell down and couldn't get up – the mud was too thick.'

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Mr Kay struggled for several hours, eventually passing out. When he was found, it took six people to drag him from the mud.

'It was light and sunny when I fell, but it was beginning to get darker,' he said. 'Of course as I struggled I got more and more tired. I called out for help but there were no properties anywhere close by.

'That was it as far as I was concerned. I wasn't aware of the rescue attempt at all. I thought 'either someone is going to find me here soon, or it would all be over'. The next thing I knew was waking up at A&E.'

Mr Kay was kept in West Suffolk Hospital until Tuesday evening, and is in good health.

'I think the helicopter picked up the heat of the dog before me,' he added. 'I should think I was struggling for around two hours, and Holly was there looking on waiting for me to get up. I think she realised something was amiss.'

A Suffolk Police spokesman said they were called by friends who described Mr Kay's disappearance as 'out of character'.

'This search was then assisted by the police helicopter which successfully located the man at 9pm by a footpath, where he had become stuck in a bog of mud,' they said. 'His dog had remained by his side.'

Have you got an animal story? Email dominic.gilbert@archant.co.uk.

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