Freeport firefighters work to free a man stuck in mud up to his waist Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Freeport Fire and Rescue)

FREEPORT — Freeport firefighters worked nearly 90 minutes Sunday to free a land surveyor who got stuck in mud up to his waist.

Freeport Deputy Fire Chief Eric Sylvain said crews went to the scene shortly after 11:33 a.m., but it took rescuers about 15 minutes to find the man. He was in a pond that has been drained near Interstate 295 Southbound by Exit 22.

“He went in doing land surveying and just started sinking and couldn’t get himself out,” Sylvain said.

“He was waist deep, and the more he wiggled, the more he sank,” he added.

Sylvain said the man was located about 150 feet from the interstate. A Freeport police officer reached the man first and tried to pull him out, but she sank in mud up to her knees.

“So she retreated and then waited for us,” Sylvain said.

Firefighters parked on the side of the I-295 southbound by exit 22 and shut down the breakdown and travel lanes while they worked.

In the rain, rescuers laid aluminum ladders across the mud to reach the man. They dug with shovels and used straps to pull the 6-foot-4-inch surveyor out.

Brunswick medics checked him for injuries after the ordeal, but he was just exhausted, Sylvain said.

Exactly who called 911 is still unclear, according to Sylvain, who didn’t have the man’s name available Monday.

While Sylvain said he’s had to respond to a call for a horse stuck in the mud, this is the first call for a human struck in the mud in his 28 years with the fire department.

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