A herd of cows trapped in the River Parrett estuary near Burnham-On-Sea prompted a huge rescue operation on Friday afternoon (April 17th).

Five fire crews from across Somerset, plus two rescue hovercrafts and a tractor from Burnham-based charity BARB, were called to West Huntspill at mid-day after seven cattle were reported to be stuck in deep mud.

The RSPCA had initially been alerted amid concern for the animals’ welfare.

Ropes, special mud mats and other equipment were used to help free the trapped animals over the course of several hours, as pictured here.

BARB Operations Manager Steve Perks said: “The fire crews and BARB’s volunteers worked closely throughout the afternoon to free the trapped cattle. Good teamwork ensured a successful outcome here.”

The Spirit Of Lelaina and Light of Elizabeth hovercrafts were used to provide safety cover for the rescuers and also to reach several of the stuck animals.

The animals are understood to have entered the river from nearby fields after being spooked.

Click here for online video coverage of this rescue