A young Sevier County duck hunter, chest deep in mud and water for almost two hours, was rescued by the South Sevier Search and Rescue Unit last week.

The Sevier County sheriff's office reported Friday that Mark Ramsay, 20, of Annabella, became mired in soft mud and water at Heppler's Ponds, about three miles east of Richfield, while trying to retrieve a duck."We don't know for sure whether he was sinking or had reached bottom, but he was up to his armpits," recalled Deputy Bill Brewer, who supervised the rescue mission.

The report said Ramsay was hunting with his father, Don Ramsay, also of Annabella, and was about 80 yards away from the pond bank when he began to sink. "We had enough people there to keep him calm, and he did exactly as he was told during the rescue," Brewer said.

The officer and more than a dozen members of the South Sevier Search and Rescue Unit arrived on the scene shortly after the elder Ramsay hurried to a telephone and called 911 for help. His son had been in the mud and water for nearly 11/2 hours and suffered from hypothermia.

The sheriff's department Hovercraft, which is similar to an airboat, hooked Ramsay with rope, then pulled him from the muck. Ramsay was then rushed to the Sevier Valley Hospital in Richfield.

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The young man was conscious and talking during the incident and responded well to the rescue and hospital treatment, Brewer said. After being wrapped in blankets and monitored for more than an hour while his temperature rose to normal, he was released from the hospital.

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