Firefighters, coastguards and a hovercraft are drafted in to rescue a trapped horse and its rider when they became stuck in the mud during a ride on the beach
- Horse and its rider were dragged to safety from mudflats at Burnham-on-Sea
- Footage shows the moment they were dragged to safety on the Bristol Channel
- The operation yesterday involved coastguard, hovercraft and firefighters
- The animal was not injured and rescuers said it was a ‘very happy outcome’
A horse and its rider were dragged to safety by emergency workers after they got stuck deep in mud on a beach.
Dramatic footage shows the moment coastguard teams, hovercraft and two fire services hauled the animal out of the mudflats at Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, at 10am yesterday.
Two horse riders were making their way across the beach, on the Bristol Channel, when one horse became trapped in ground exposed by the receding tide.
A Burnham Coastguard spokesman said: ‘In this instance we were concerned for human life as they were very wet, muddy and although the temperature is pretty average, the wind that blows across is cold and very quick to cool the body down.
Two horse riders were making their way across the beach, on the Bristol Channel, when one horse became trapped in ground exposed by the receding tide
Members of the emergency services were called to the beach in the Bristol Channel to rescue the animal (pictured right). They attached ropes around the horse and hauled it free
‘Before you know it you are in danger of hypothermia.
‘BARB Search and Rescue were tasked as back up in case of any need for their hovercraft, which was kept on standby as we did not want to spook the horses.’
Mud rescue experts from Burnham Coastguard and Weston-super-Mare Coastguard retrieved the rider first before safety and rescue teams from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and Avon Fire and Rescue were also called to help save the animal.
The coastguard spokesman said: ‘Once on scene the fire service incorporated the RNLI tractor into their rescue plan utilising rescue strops and a winch with other plans devised as back-up due to the incoming tide. We were fortunate that today is a very small neap tide.
Mud rescue experts from Burnham Coastguard and Weston-super-Mare Coastguard retrieved the rider first before safety and rescue teams from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and Avon Fire and Rescue were also called to help save the animal (pictured, right)
The horse, covered in mud, was finally pulled free from the ground by emergency crews
‘After a long intricate process and with great care taken for the horses welfare, there was finally steady progress made and the very tired horse became free from its sticky confines inch by inch.
‘Once it was freed, the poor exhausted horse took a few moments to gather itself, and with a burst of energy got to its feet and was reunited with a very relieved owner and went straight into the waiting horsebox.’
The spokesman added that this was very happy outcome but it ‘could have been very different’.
They said: ‘With so many different agencies on scene it was good to see how each other works in these situations, and we all worked together to achieve a very good result for all concerned.
The animal was said to be ‘exhuasted’ after its ordeal, but was not injured
Once freed, the exhausted horse was reunited with its relieved owner and was led into a waiting horsebox
‘Our thanks go to all assets and teams who attended, and we are sure the horse is receiving a nice wash down and some extra treats after such a tiring day.
‘We do advise if the tide is out to stay on the firm sand, horses are very heavy and can easily break through the softer surface further down towards the water and with an incoming tide this could have ended in a different way.
‘Stay safe out there and please continue to enjoy the beach, if you do get into a situation don’t hesitate to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.’
A spokesman for BARB – Burnham Area Rescue Boat – said its hovercraft waited ‘at the top of the beach in an overwatch position, offering safety cover for all the crews working on scene.’
The spokesman added: ‘BARB’s 4×4 Teams assisted in transporting various officers from the Fire & Rescue Service, and the moving of rescue equipment.
‘Our Polaris multi-terrain vehicle was used to quickly and safely take one of the horse owners to their car and horse box to bring it to the beach to recover the animal once rescued.
‘A huge multi-agency operation took place to safely pull the horse free from the mud, which was complex and took over two hours.
‘This was a successful operation and the horse’s relieved owners were grateful for the help of all involved.’
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