Stranded foal rescued from river in Cambridgeshire

Stranded foal rescued from river

RSPCA and fire crews rescue a foal who was stuck in a river for more than three hours

Animal rescuers from the RSPCA and Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service joined forces to save a foal from drowning on Saturday, June 19th.

RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs was called to the River Nene at Guyhirn, Cambridgeshire, where the foal was found stranded by a passerby. The small piebald pony was stuck up to its shoulders on the edge of the riverbank.

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.”

Stranded foal rescued from river in Cambridgeshire

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


A fire service spokesman said:

Our Combined Fire Control received a call just before 4pm on Saturday on reports of a trapped foal near the A47.

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.”

The foal was 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!”

Justin added.

The foal once rescued
The foal once rescued

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit the website or call the donation line on 0300 123 8181.

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