A teenage girl had to be rescued by firefighters after getting stuck in a storm drain while trying to retrieve her mobile phone.

The girl, named locally as 16-year-old Ella Birchenough, squeezed down the hole to try to fetch her phone in Eaves Road, Dover, Kent.

But she became stuck fast in front of a group of onlookers, including her mother, according to witness Tim Richards.

Mobile phone shop employee Mr Richards, 22, was driving home with his mother when he saw Ella up to her waist in the drain, and they pulled over.

He said: "It's not the type of thing you see every day. It was pretty weird. She was more concerned about getting her phone back rather than getting herself out of the drain."

Mr Richards said Ella at one point managed to inch herself out - but promptly went back in before becoming "completely stuck".

"My mum knows her mum and she went to call on her. She was a bit panicky thinking Ella was going to sink, but when she came down to see she saw the funny side," Mr Richards added.

He went on: "We tried to pull her out a couple of times but it wasn't happening. She was quite calm and relaxed and saw the funny side of it.

"The drain was no more than a foot-and-a-half both ways. How she thought she was going to get her phone, I have no idea."

Ella's efforts proved to be in vain - because the phone is broken. She revealed the first thing she did when she emerged was to dash home for a bath.

She told KentOnline: "I was talking to somebody and I went to put my phone in my pocket and it fell down the drain.

"I thought to myself, 'I'm not leaving this' and I jumped down to get it. I wasn't really even stuck, I just needed somebody to help lift me out but my mum got all panicky.

"When they pulled me out I ran straight home and jumped in the bath. I think it was just water but I wasn't taking any chances."

A Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said one fire engine was sent to deal with the incident at around 7.15pm yesterday.

He said: "A teenage girl was released by firefighters from a storm drain where she had become stuck in Eaves Road, Dover.

"Crews then made the scene safe. The girl was uninjured."