A HAVE-a-go hero who helped pluck a father and his three children from deep mud on the guided busway building site has been praised.
Steve Lloyd, from Leigh, leapt into action after his 17-year-old son Jake spotted the group in difficulties on the site where the public transport link is being constructed near Elmridge.
Steve, who lives on Elmridge and whose home backs on to the building site, used ladders to climb on to the roof of his shed and then over the back fence and down to where the walkers were struggling in soft, deep mud.
He spent around 15 minutes carefully getting the father, who was stuck up to his waist, to safety before turning his attention to the three children until the fire service arrived.
The family were all unhurt and Steve said his training as a volunteer with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) helped him remain calm and work methodically in the tense circumstances.
Steve, 53, said: “My son spotted the kids stuck in the mud and shouted us, so we went to look and the father and his three children were all there.
“I’ve seen thousands of videos of people being rescued from mud with the RNLI so I just went across and got them out. The chap was up to his waist and it was freezing cold so it was very difficult.
“I put a couple of ladders behind him and we were working off them too because you couldn’t step off as you were straight into the mud.
“We started with the father because it was deepest and by the time we had rescued him and his eldest daughter the fire brigade had arrived.
“We got them out and then they all disappeared via our garden. I only did what anybody else would have done if they had seen him.”
The operation to remove the four walkers from the mud, which had been churned up by the heavy plant machinery on the busway and was around two feet deep in places, took around 40 minutes.
Steve’s wife Sharon said she had no idea until the rescue effort last Sunday just how dangerous the mud from the building site actually was.
Sharon, 47, said: “Steve was really good, he knew exactly what to do and he was calm and collected. There was no way the father would have been able to get out himself without Steve digging.
“We’ve never seen anything like it, the condition of the area has to be seen to be believed. It wasn’t very pleasant for anybody.
“Once they got the family free they had to figure out a way of getting off the busway, and the only thing to do was to go out the way my husband had come.
“They used the ladders to get on to our shed roof and then down into our back garden.”
To see a video of the rescue visit www.wigantoday.net