RSPCA and fire service help to rescue foal from drowning in river near Peterborough

Personnel from the RSPCA and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue have joined forces to rescue a foal from drowning.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 5:55 am

The RSPCA were called on Saturday (June 19) afternoon after a passerby noticed a small piebald pony stuck up to its shoulders on the edge of the banks of the River Nene at Guyhirn.

RSPCA Inspector Juston Stubbs was the first on the scene but quickly noticed that he would need assistance, so called for help from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Together, they used ropes and a rescue sled to paddle out to the foal, secure him safely, and pull him to safety before helping him up the bank.

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Justin said: “When I arrived at the scene I realised, quite quickly, that the pony was in fact a young foal, so I knew he wouldn’t be able to get himself out.

“I expect he slipped into the water while grazing on the riverbank or trying to get a drink and, as he was only little, could clamber back up the bank.

“The water was deep and was coming up to his shoulder and we ascertained from the caller who had spotted him that he’d been there for at least three hours so I was concerned about him getting cold.

“I knew I wouldn’t be able to rescue him myself so I called for help from Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service and thankfully three crews arrived to assist.

“The foal was a little wet, bedraggled and dirty but, thankfully, wasn’t injured. We sought some vet advice and monitored him for a little while to make sure he was okay before leading him back to his herd; he trotted off happily to his friends!”

A fire service spokesman added: “Our Combined Fire Control received a call just before 4pm on Saturday to reports of a trapped foal near the A47 at Guyhirn. Crews from March, Wisbech and Dogsthorpe in Peterborough attended the incident.

“Working with colleagues from the RSPCA, firefighters wearing specialist kit entered the water to safely rescue the foal. They returned to their stations by 6pm.”