A DOGWALKER rescued from quicksand as the tide came in on Gwbert beach said he had no idea of the danger he was walking into.

Tom Long, 22, from Cardigan, was up to his waist in the thick, clawing mud and the tide was coming in by the time he was finally freed by the Coastguard.

Now he is warning others to beware the hidden perils on the beach.

“The tide was well out when I went out on the sand. The dog was walking across and I was following and without warning I just took a step and plummeted down into the mud and could not get out,” said Mr Long, who was out with his bichon frise dog Honey.

“It was initially up to my shins but I was slowly sinking all the time.

“I had my phone on me but the signal was not great and I was struggling but I managed to call the police and they contacted the Coastguard.”

The Coastguard and firefighters rescued Mr Long using a specialist rescue sled and throw lines after he had been trapped for around an hour and a half. The fire service also deployed marsh mats from Carmarthen Fire Station and a boat from Milford Haven Fire Station.

“By the time they got me out I was up to my waist and I am six foot four. A child could have just gone under,” said Mr Long.

“I am so grateful to everyone for their help. The police officer was fantastic and looked after my dog and I just want to say a big thank you. It could have been so much worse.”

Although there are warning signs in the area posted by Ceredigion County Council, Mr Long had not seen them.

“It has brought home the dangers and I just did not realise it was like that. I have seen so many other people walking there but I want people to know what could happen. Me and my dog are fine but we were lucky,” he added.

Ieuan Williams, maritime operations officer for the UK Coastguard said: “If you become stuck in quicksand or mud our advice is always the same; stay calm, try to spread your weight as much as possible and avoid moving. Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

“Anybody trapped should also discourage other well-meaning members of the public from attempting to rescue them because without the proper equipment they could become stuck too.”