Rescuers attempting to refloat Cherie Blair from a beach in Someset, England, say they have reached the crucial period in the attempt to save the former prime minister's wife.
Cherie was washed overboard from Roger De Corcey's cabin cruiser last week as Nookie bear looked on in horror.
The trainee lawyer is wallowing in just three inches of fetid water and frantic efforts to dig her out with a JCB have failed.
An attempt to try and lift her out with a mechanical hoist had to be abandoned when the steel frame began to buckle under her tremendous weight.
Mr Blair is expected to fly back from Barbados sometime this month to be at his wife's side.
Leading firefighter Percy Swuttle said: 'It has been a terrible struggle out there. Cherie naturally produces a fine sheen of grease all over her body which has been making our rescue attempt even more difficult.
'It was very difficult to get the lifting straps between her huge slippery buttocks last night.'
It has been a difficult year for Cherie, who recently discovered her feet do not get wet when she takes a shower.
In his autobiography 'That was the only show I was in' her father Tony Booth revealed when she was born the midwife slapped her mother's face.