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July 5, 2006
Swan rescued with the help of Burnham-On-Sea inshore lifeboat

Ellie West holds out a net to try and capture the swan at Apex Leisure Park on Wednesday July 5th

Burnham-On-Sea's hovercraft crew performed one of their more unusual rescues on Wednesday morning (July 5th) when they helped animal experts capture an injured swan.

BARB crew member Steve Perks holds the rescued swan, watched on by BARB's Alan MillerThe bird had been reported to Highbridge-based Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre after a walker had spotted it in a distressed state at Apex Leisure Park, Highbridge after swallowing several inches of fishing line.

Secret World’s Head Of Animal Care, Ellie West, called on BARB, the charity that runs Burnham’s hovercraft, and within minutes their inshore lifeboat was on the scene to take Ellie out to capture the stricken animal.

After a brief chase around the lake in which the animal out-manoeuvred the boat, it was captured using a net and taken away for treatment by Secret World’s staff.

"Without the rescue boat it would have been very difficult and time consuming to capture," said Ellie.

A successful rescue - Steve Perks holds the swan while BARB's Carol Ann Hatim watches onThis is not the first time the hovercraft team has helped in rescuing animals. In June 2005 the group rescued another swan at Apex and in July 2004 the group rescued two dogs stuck in the mud at Brean.

Alan Miller, chairman of BARB, said: "If we don't go to the aid of animals, there's a risk that people may enter the water to try and carry out the rescue themselves, which can quickly turn into a tragedy. Providing that we're not jeopardising the rescue of a person elsewhere, we'll always help."


BBC Online coverage of this story

Official BARB Web site home page


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