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Phone video helps save horse struggling in water

Phone video helps save horse struggling in water

8 February 2018

A mobile phone video helped to save the life of a horse stuck in a water-filled ditch near Gravesend.

The animal was up to its neck in muddy water in Shorne marshes, off of Queens Farm Road, when a dog walker Aisha Newcombe, 37, from Gravesend spotted the 12 hands horse in distress.

She decided she had no other option than to call for help if the horse had any chance of survival.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s Animal Rescue Unit and Water Rescue Unit were deployed to the scene, but the remote location meant crews had to travel two miles on foot through marshland with rescue equipment.

Fortunately, Aisha filmed the horse and passed the footage onto the crew who could assess the situation. It allowed them to decide what kit needed to be carried and devise an extraction plan from afar.

Once at the scene, crews attached a head harness and used strops and ropes to pull the horse sideways onto the bank. They then helped to warm the horse with foil blankets and supported it into a standing position to promote recovery.

Gravesend horse rescue in water.PNG
Horse stuck in water is calmed by crews

The RSPCA was in attendance and shortly after the rescue a farmer from Hoo St Werbergh adopted the horse.

Aisha said: “I was walking my two dogs with a friend when we spotted the horse struggling in water up to its neck. It looked very tired and was resting its head on the bank. We knew we had to do something.

“We tried to help in any way we could, searching for something to help pull it out like a piece of rope, but I decided we had to call for help if the horse was going to survive. I filmed the horse on my phone and showed it to the crew when they arrived.

“I’m so pleased they managed to save the horse, I can’t thank the people from Kent Fire and Rescue enough.”

KFRS Station Manager Mark Gosling was overseeing the rescue. He said: “This was logistically a very tricky rescue with the horse being around two miles from the nearest road. The phone video proved to be incredibly valuable, giving us a preview of what to expect. It meant we could decide what equipment we needed to take with us, saving time and energy to focus on saving the animal.

“We work closely with the RSPCA and where there is a risk to life we will respond. I’m pleased to say it was a successful rescue and the horse is now doing well in the care of a farmer.”

The rescue took place on Tuesday, 6 February, between 12 noon and 4.30pm.

Gravesend Horse Rescue with crew.jpg
KFRS crews save horse stuck in mud
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