GALLERY: Specialist RSPCA team rescue swan trapped in a Fenland pumping station

RESCUERS saved a swan who was chased into a Fenland pumping station and was trapped behind a metal grill.

The swan was spotted yesterday morning by workers from a nearby farm who called the RSPCA to the Fenton Way pumping station in Chatteris.

Five members of a specialist water rescue team, led by Inspector Richard Lythgoe, took an hour to free the bird, who was unharmed by the traumatic incident.

Insp Lythgoe, who has been a trained member of the team for four years, said: “We got to the pumping station at 10am and found the swan trying to get out but with no success. I changed into my dry suit and was able to get the bird out without causing it any harm.

“The swan was chased down the river by two territorial swans, who become aggressive when they are nesting, and found his way through the grate at the side where there is a big enough gap but it couldn’t find its own way out.

“We don’t like to interfere too much with nature so we put the swan in a bigger river just over tha bank and hopefully it won’t get trapped again.

“We are trained to the same standard as the fire and rescue service which means they don’t get tied up with these incidents that we can deal with. The dry suits we use means that we can get to places easier without the need for a boat.”

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The RSCPA water rescue team normally help birds with broken wings after hitting power cables or stuck in fishing lines but have also helped the fire services when there is flooding like Cockermouth, Cumbria, in 2009 and the Gloucestershire floods in summer 2007.

Insp Lythgoe said: “On the first day of these events, we help with the rescue of humans, but then we start to try and rescue vulnerable animals, half are farm animals and the other half are domestic pets.”