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September 30, 2006
Burnham-On-Sea inshore lifeboat crew recovers injured swan

An injured swan which had swallowed a fishing hook and line was rescued from a lake by Burnham-On-Sea hovercraft group's inshore lifeboat team on Saturday, September 30th.

Highbridge-based Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre contacted BARB, the charity that runs Burnham's hovercraft, for assistance after the distressed bird was spotted with the tackle hanging from its mouth on a fishing lake at Combwich, near Bridgwater.

BARB's inshore lifeboat - which has been used to conduct several animal rescues during the last two years - was driven by road to Combwich, where it was launched by crew members Alan Miller, Steve Perks and Simon Triggol with Secret World's Graeme Thompson onboard.

Using a large net, the rescuers captured the swan at around 1pm and the animal was promptly taken to a local vet for emergency treatment.

Graeme said: "The hook was firmly embedded in the swan's tongue and there were already some signs of infection, however it was anethsitised and the vet eventually managed to remove the hook and line. I'm relieved to say that the bird is now recovering and will stay at Secret World for about a week before hopefully being released."

"We're very grateful to the BARB team for helping us. The swan was in a desperate condition and needed prompt treatment. Without the inshore boat we couldn't have helped the bird so quickly and I think it would have been a sad outcome."

BARB spokesman Mark Newman said: "Providing that we're not jeopardising the rescue of a person elsewhere, BARB is always happy to help with animal rescues. Time was clearly an issue here and a prompt response was required. In this case, we managed to quickly launch our inshore lifeboat. We're delighted about the positive outcome."

BARB has been involved in several animal rescues in recent years; helping swans at Apex Leisure Park in Highbridge, another swan at Combwich in July, and two dogs trapped in mud at Brean in July 2004.


July 2006 rescue of a swan at Combwich Lake

Official BARB Web site home page


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