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77-year-old was alone in swamp when he got stuck in the mud. Then he started sinking

Alligators draw tourists to Jackson County

Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Tours draws tourists from across the country who want to come face to face with alligators. Visitors are able to take a swamp boat tour to see alligators in their natural habitat.
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Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Tours draws tourists from across the country who want to come face to face with alligators. Visitors are able to take a swamp boat tour to see alligators in their natural habitat.

A leisurely walk to the store turned scary for a 77-year-old man Friday afternoon.

The man, who was not identified, had walked to a local store and was returning home when he took what he thought was a shortcut around Mississippi 53 and County Farm Road, Harrison County fire Marshal Pat Sullivan said.

The man ended up stuck in a swampy area near some woods about half a mile from the road and eventually called for help about 3:15 p.m., Sullivan said.

"He tried to get out himself, of course," Sullivan said. "But every time he did he sunk deeper and deeper into the mud and he eventually realized he couldn't get himself out."

The Harrison County Sheriff's Office and Harrison County Fire Service responded, finding the man about an hour later in a swampy area near a swamp and out of sight from the road.

Chris Holland, Wade Ladner and Ryan McDaniel eventually emerged from the swampy area with the man, Sullivan said, and carried him to safety.

The man was treated on the scene by American Medical Response medics and deputies gave him a ride home.

"We can't repeat enough that people need to keep a fully charged phone anytime they go off road to have a plan to call for help," Sullivan said.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2326, @patrickochs
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