Fire crews and RSPCA rescue foal in danger of drowning

From left: Stuck in the river at Guyhirn, rescued and (right) off safe and sound. 

From left: Stuck in the river at Guyhirn, rescued and (right) off safe and sound. - Credit: RSPCA

RSPCA and fire crews rescued a foal who was stuck in a river for more than three hours 

Animal rescuers from the RSPCA and Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service joined forces to save the foal’s life. 

RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs was called to the River Nene at Guyhirn, on Saturday after a passer-by spotted a little piebald pony stuck up to its shoulders on the edge of the riverbank. 

Justin said: “When I arrived at the scene I realised, quite quickly, that the pony was in fact a young foal, so I knew he wouldn’t be able to get himself out. 

“I expect he slipped into the water while grazing on the riverbank or trying to get a drink and, as he was only little, could clamber back up the bank. 


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“The water was deep and was coming up to his shoulder and we ascertained from the caller who had spotted him that he’d been there for at least three hours so I was concerned about him getting cold. ]

rescued foal

A foal and his sense of balance are soon parted! This foal was rescued by RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue - Credit: RSPCA

“I knew I wouldn’t be able to rescue him myself so I called for help from Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service and thankfully three crews arrived to assist.” 

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The officers used ropes and a rescue sled to paddle out to the foal, secure him safely, and pull him to safety before helping him up the bank. 

A foal and his sense of balance are soon parted! This foal was rescued

A foal and his sense of balance are soon parted! This foal was rescued by RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue - Credit: RSPCA

A fire service spokesman said: “Our Combined Fire Control received a call just before 4pm on Saturday to reports of a trapped foal near the A47 at Guyhirn.  

“Crews from March, Wisbech and Dogsthorpe in Peterborough attended the incident. 

“Working with colleagues from the RSPCA, firefighters wearing specialist kit entered the water to safely rescue the foal.  

“They returned to their stations by 6pm.” 

Justin added: “The foal was a little wet, bedraggled and dirty but, thankfully, wasn’t injured.  

A foal and his sense of balance are soon parted!

A foal and his sense of balance are soon parted! This foal was rescued by RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue - Credit: RSPCA

“We sought some vet advice and monitored him for a little while to make sure he was okay before leading him back to his herd; he trotted off happily to his friends.” 

A foal and his sense of balance are soon parted!

A foal and his sense of balance are soon parted! This foal was rescued by RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue - Credit: RSPCA

Figures released by Cambridgeshire fire and rescue last year showed that on average that rescue two animals a week from rivers, trees or other situations.  

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