Stuck in the mud while viewing art installation off Crosby Beach near Liverpool

Liverpool Coastguard was called to the Anthony Gormley art installation `Another Place’ on Crosby beach yesterday afternoon, when a female member of the public became stuck up to her thighs in mud and was shouting for help. The Crosby Coastguard Rescue Team and members of the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) staff immediately went to assist the young woman from Macclesfield who was eventually pulled from the sticky mud by two other members of the public who were close by.

The installation consists of 100 two-metre-tall iron statues rooted to the bottom spread 3km along the coastline and 1km out to sea. They are partly submerged at different times of day, depending on changing tides and weather conditions.

The MCA has criticized the installation on safety grounds, saying:
‘They are a hazard to navigation, a continuing risk to beach users on this a red flag beach, and specifically the area is well known for its soft sand and mud. We would warn others who come to view the statues to do so from a safe distance, ideally the promenade and to read and adhere to the safety signage which is posted at strategic locations along the beach.’

The artist, best known for his statue The Angel of the North, defended the work:
‘I think it is part of the risk-averse culture that Britain has turned into. Crosby is a very industrial beach, it can’t be used for swimming – it’s a got an extremely serious rip tide and this (the artwork) is not a bad use for the beach.’

First installed 18 months ago, the statues were due to be removed and reinstalled on the east coast of the USA by 31 October. An appeal to let them remain was initially turned down by Sefton Council on Health and Safety grounds, but the council has agreed to let them stay while an appeal over the decision is decided.

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