Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

Published: September 18, 2008
Swans rescued from Highbridge lake after swallowing fishing hooks

An inshore rescue boat crew from Burnham-On-Sea teamed up with wildlife experts to retrieve two injured swans from a Highbridge lake on Wednesday evening (September 17th).

East Huntspill's Secret World Wildlife Centre called on the help of BARB, the Burnham charity that runs a rescue boat and two hovercrafts, after a walker spotted two birds struggling in the water at Apex Wildlife Park in Highbridge.

"One bird had swallowed a hook and a line and was in a distressed state and the other had a lump in its neck which was also caused by fishing tackle," said Secret World's Graeme Thompson.

"We'd tried unsuccessfully to reach them both from the banks of the lake, so the help of the inshore boat was much needed."

Mr Thompson was taken out onto the water by BARB crewmen Paul Giles and Alan Humphries and the swans were captured using a large net before one was released and the other was taken away for treatment by Secret World.

Steve Perks, BARB's Operations Manager, said: "If distressed animals are not rescued, people may be tempted to venture into the water themselves and in turn put their own lives at risk. Providing that we're not jeopardizing the rescue of a person elsewhere, BARB is happy to help."

Pictured at the top of the page is Secret World's Emily Redman holding a fishing hook removed from one of the swan's mouths during Wednesday's incident and, beneath, Secret World's Graeme Thompson Emily Redman with BARB crewmembers Paul Giles and Alan Humphries in the background

Burnham-On-Sea Hovercraft Web site
BBC Online coverage of this incident


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