Maine man speaks out after wife is pulled waist-deep into quicksand: 'She couldn't get her legs free'

PHIPPSBURG, ME - JULY 30: People walk in the shallow water at Popham Beach State Park, where bathers were told to only go in the water ankle deep because of a recent shark attack and subsequent shark sightings off the Maine coast. The water in the fo

A Maine woman had a startling experience while walking on the water’s edge of a New England beach, and luckily she was not alone during the incident.

While at Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg, Jamie Acord was soaking up the sun when, in a flash, she found herself sunk up to her hips in sand. 

Her husband, Patrick Acord, 38, said that he and his wife were walking side by side when she dropped about 2.5 feet into what they later found out to be quicksand.

"My wife fell in almost instantly," he told Fox News Digital via email. "It only took a few seconds to pull her out after she realized she couldn't get her legs free herself."

While a person being trapped in quicksand may sound like a scene out of a movie, it could in fact happen in real life.

"Sand movement resulting from beach dynamics has had a dramatic effect on Popham Beach, causing extreme shoreline change and dune erosion," according to an article published online by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.


Jamie Acord had been collecting trash on the beach, so her hands were full when she began to sink, according to the Associated Press (AP).

She screamed to her husband, Patrick, "I can’t get out!" the AP reported.

Patrick Acord sprung into action, pulling his wife from the sand trap in seconds while more sand poured back in.

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"I couldn’t feel the bottom…I couldn’t find my footing," Jamie Acord told the AP.

Quicksand is a mixture of fine sand, clay and salt water, according to an article published by Live Science. 

It has a density of about 2 grams per milliliter, while humans have a density of about 1 gram per milliliter, according to National Geographic. "At that level of density, sinking in quicksand is impossible. You would descend about up to your waist, but you'd go no further," the online magazine continued.

"People who are caught in supersaturated sand remain buoyant — people don’t sink in quicksand — allowing them to float and wriggle themselves to safety," Jim Britt, conservation and forestry spokesperson at the Maine Department of Agriculture, told the AP.

Patrick Acord said he and Jamie did speak to a park ranger after the incident. 

"He said they had received a handful of similar complaints but none where someone sunk this deep, and usually they were in an area where supersaturated sand is more common – such as near the mouth of the river that flows out next to the beach," Patrick Acord told Fox News Digital.

Luckily, Jamie Acord was left with just a few small scratches on the top and bottom of her foot after the frightening experience, Patrick Acord said.

Popham Beach visitors are now being encouraged to talk with state park staff to learn updates on area conditions and additional safety tips – "something especially helpful if guests are not familiar with the area or if conditions have recently changed," FOX Weather reported.


The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry released an advisory following Jamie Acord's quicksand incident. 

"While this picturesque spot [Popham Beach State Park] is perfect for outdoor recreation, a few simple precautions can help ensure your visit remains enjoyable and safe," officials with the government organization wrote online, followed by tips if you should ever find yourself stuck in sand.

Safety tips from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry:

Stay calm – "Panicking can make the situation worse. Take a deep breath and assess your surroundings."

Ditch extra weight – "If carrying a backpack or heavy gear, set it aside to lighten your load."

Lean back – "Distribute your weight more evenly by leaning back slightly. This technique helps prevent further sinking."

Move slowly – "Quick, jerky movements can cause you to sink deeper. Move your legs slowly and deliberately."

Crawl to safety – "If standing up isn't an option, crawl on your hands and knees to distribute your weight more evenly and reach firmer ground."

Fox News Digital reached out to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry for additional comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Read more of this story from FOX News