Riverhead police, firefighters and EMS rescued a woman from a muddy farm field in Aquebogue this afternoon.
The woman was reportedly chasing a horse that got away off Church Lane shortly after 4 p.m. She pursued the horse into a farm field and became stuck in deep mud, the byproduct of today’s torrential downpours.
A passerby called 911. Police called the fire department as well as Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Riverhead Fire Chief Kevin Brooks said he grabbed a pair of boots from the back of his truck and trekked into the muddy field toward the woman, who was struggling to free herself but only worsening her plight, he said.
“It’s like quicksand,” Brooks said.
The chief said it took him some time to reach the woman, who was stuck about 200 yards off the road. As he trudged in deeper and deeper — the mud was about 8 to 10 inches deep — his own boots got stuck and he required assistance to free himself.
“It’s like suction, a vacuum effect,” he said.
Second Assistant Chief Tim Corwin reached the woman and pulled her out, Brooks said.
“She was actually face down in the mud at that point,” Brooks said.
Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps transported the woman, 67, to Peconic Bay Medical Center as a precautionary measure.
“She was out there a good 45 minutes,” Brooks said.
“When you get stuck like that it’s not a good feeling,” Brooks said. “But when I got stuck, I knew I had 30 guys there to get me out. The worst that was going to happen was getting laughed at and teased,” he said.
“But I can’t imagine what she was going through, stuck out there with the sun going down, wondering what was going to happen,” he said. “It’s extremely tiring trying to get yourself free in that.”
Rescuers saw no sign of the loose horse, he said. Another 911 caller reported seeing a horse on the loose near Main Road in Aquebogue a short time later. It is not known if the horse was captured or if it was the same animal that got away from the woman on Church Lane.
When he returned to Riverhead, Brooks was called to the Hubbard Avenue substation to help free a stuck vehicle. A woman in a large sedan was making a U-turn on the firehouse ramp, which is being renovated and currently unpaved — it just has a base coat of RCA — and got stuck.
“It was like Ground Hog Day,” Brooks said.