Dramatic Rescue - Two Horses Saved From Drowning
We highlighted the joy of swimming with horses in a recent post. Most horses love the water and are good swimmers but a trip to the beach isn’t without its dangers.
We were keen to emphasise that it is vital to choose a safe place to swim and so its helps if you are familiar with the beach. You should head for an area where the shore shelves gradually and where there are no powerful currents. It is also crucial to avoid soft sand or thick mud as horses can easily get stuck. This is exactly what happened to two unfortunate horses recently in Knott End, Lancashire.
Stuck in the Mud
The two horses were being ridden on a beach near Fleetwood on a pleasant Sunday morning, when they became stuck in the soft sand at the water’s edge. Then the tide started to come in. The rescue services were alerted by the skipper of the local ferry. He had spotted that the riders and horses were in trouble. Then the horses managed to free themselves and the rescue effort was stood down. But the horses soon became trapped again and the water was rising at the rate of a foot every five minutes.
The Fleetwood-Knott End ferry then transported a rescue team over the nearby river saving a crucial 30 minutes. Two kayakers, the RNLI, the coastguard and the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service were all involved in the operation.
One horse was freed relatively easily but the second horse was rescued in the nick of time, much to relief of their owners who had been terrified. The water had risen as high as the horse’s neck before the lucky animal was finally led out of the water. It had taken over an hour to free him and he was completely exhausted by his ordeal.
The coastguard was amazed at the reaction of the horses after they had been rescued. Apparently, they made an incredible noise when they were reunited after the drama. They were clearly extremely pleased to see each other safe and well.
The horses and their riders were fortunate that the ferry’s skipper reacted so quickly to the situation. This was an episode which could have had a very sad ending had the rescue services not responded immediately and worked so well together.
It is wonderful to ride on the beach and to swim with horses but you have to be sure that the area is safe. A great day out can very quickly result in a terrible tragedy.