Burnham-On-Sea’s rescue services were called out on Tuesday (July 24th) to recover a stranded cow from the muddy banks of the River Brue.
Fire crews, assisted by Burnham Coastguards and BARB Search & Rescue, were called at 9.30am to the south side of the River Brue, as pictured here.
The cow was spotted “stuck up to its haunches” in mud and fire crews used a telehandler plus mudpaths, dry suits and lines to rescue it.
A spokesman from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “The fire service were called to reports of a cow stuck in a river. One fire appliance from Burnham-On-Sea, plus specialist rescue teams from Bridgwater and Barnstaple were mobilised.”
“Once the crew were in attendance the officer in charge confirmed that a cow was stuck in river up to its haunches and due to its location the officer in charge requested the telehandler to attend. Fire control mobilised the telehandler from Clyst St George.”
“The crew got to work immediately to rescue the cow with the assistance of BARB and the Coastguard using mudpaths, dry suits, lines and the use of farmer’s tractor. The crew successfully rescued the cow uninjured.”
“Once the cow was rescued the care of the animal was handed over to the farmer and the crew made the area safe.”
A Coastguard spokesman added: “We were asked to provide safety cover for the Fire Rescue team during the animal rescue.”
“As taskings go this was one of the more unusual for Coastguards. While on occasion we do pluck the odd dog from the side of the Down, cows are slightly different.”
“It was then updated that the Fire Service were already on their way to carry out the rescue and that our job was to provide safety cover for their team in case they got into any difficulty.”
“When we arrived on scene they were already setting up ready to go and rescue the cow which was literally stuck up to its behind. They deployed their mud paths and technicians and due to the distance also deployed BARB’s mud mats to create a long walkway to access the cow.”
“Once a rope was secured, it was hauled to the safety of the river bank where it happily returned to the rest of the herd.”
The spokesman quipped: “This was quite a beefy rescue with lots at steak and vital to get it moo-ving. But seriously, animal rescuexs can be quite challenging due to the unpredictable nature and movement of the animal. Safety for the rescuers is paramount and with that in mind no chances were taken. If a 500kg cow lands on you, then you are in real trouble so caution was the order of the day.”