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Man almost died after getting stuck in swamp for six hours

Wetlands at Bicentennial Park, Ballina. Photo taken by James Morningbird, bilbobasho Travel Blog.
Wetlands at Bicentennial Park, Ballina. Photo taken by James Morningbird, bilbobasho Travel Blog.

A MAN who got lost in a Ballina park ended up getting stuck in a swamp for more than six hours and almost died from hypothermia.

On Sunday night the 51-year-old man was at Bicentennial Park at Ballina when he got lost and walked into a swamp.

He later told Ballina Police that, in an effort to get out, he made his way to what he thought was an island, but was in fact a floating reed bed.

He got stuck and stayed there from 10.20pm until 4.35am the next day, when a passer-by heard weak cries for help.

Police found the man at 5.15am.

"He was about 10m from firm ground and almost fully immersed in the very cold swamp water," the Richmond Local Area Command posted on its Facebook page.

"The temperature was about 5 degrees Celsius, the man was hypothermic, shivering uncontrollably, delirious, could not move his legs and and could not tell police how long he had been there.

"A Ballina Senior Constable partially stripped off, waded through the water and towed him out.

"This was made difficult as the man was now having muscle spasms from the extreme cold.

"He was treated by ambulance officers who said that if he remained in the water much longer it may have resulted in a fatality.

"The man was taken to Ballina hospital where he was treated for hypothermia and later released.

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