Safety: Watch How to Survive When Caught Up in a Quicksand [Video]


Quicksand is loose, wet sand that yields easily to pressure and sucks in anything resting on or falling into it.

It consists of a mixture of sand and water, and sometimes clay and silt. If you accidentally step on it, you will find yourself sinking.  It is therefore very dangerous to walk on quicksand. In places where quicksand is found, warning signs are placed to make people aware of the danger.

But notwithstanding the warning signs, many people have been caught unaware in it. Such situations are indeed very disturbing, especially when you have no clue on how to get yourself out of it. The vacuum produced when the sand surrounds your leg makes it difficult to pull out and there may be a tendency to panic.

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Mind.Com has put together some techniques we can apply to save ourselves in case we find we’re in this unfortunate situation one day.

According to Mind.Com, the first step to take while caught up in quicksand is to not panic. Thrashing or freaking out is the number one way to squeeze sand and air away from your legs and make yourself sink quicker. Therefore, obey the number one rule, just stay calm and call for help.

Secondly, it is recommended that you get rid of anything you are wearing that is heavy, for example, a bag.  The extra weight will cause you to sink, unless you have got a lasso or large hook to pull you out. As you stay calm and remove the heavy things on you, this will help prevent sinking fast; you will not sink that far.

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Then, apply these simple techniques in order to get yourself into a survivable position.  Lean back, laying your upper body along the top of the sand.  Quicksand is much denser than water and you will float more easily.  Once leaning back, slowly bring your legs out of the quicksand, even part-way.  Try as much as possible to do this in a very slow motion, as pulling hard can cause friction, which will exacerbate the situation.

Once your legs are mostly out and you are floating, use your hands to gently stroke your way along the surface of the quicksand.  You can slowly paddle your way to solid ground.  This could take hours, but there is no rush.  The calmer and slower you take it, the less likely you are going to sink.

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If you can grasp solid land, or a large stick, you may be able to get your shoes off. Flat soles shoes can cause nasty suction. Use the stick to push your shoes off. Never put your hands under the sand. If you don’t have a stick, but have a grasp on some solid object, gently spin your legs in 360 degree circles while pulling up to loosen the sediment.  This will open up the suction and let you get your legs out.

Below is a video showing some professionals who deal with quicksand removal, for people. You can watch the video and learn more, for you never know what tomorrow will bring.

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This article (Safety: Watch How to Survive When Caught Up in a Quicksand [Video]) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and


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