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RNLI Fleetwood help rescue horses from mud during multi-agency operation

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer lifeboat crew from RNLI Fleetwood helped rescue two horses and their young riders from the mud at Knott End on Sunday 18 September.

The drama started around 10am when the Skipper of the Knott End ferry spotted the two young girls on their horses, in trouble and seemingly stuck in the mud. The Coastguard was alerted and they contacted Fleetwood lifeboat for assistance. But the horses managed to free themselves and the lifeboat crew was stood down.
However, minutes later, the horses sank in the soft sand and mud and the volunteer lifeboat crew launched the inshore lifeboat to assist the Coastguard. Both riders were quickly rescued, but then the race against one of the highest tides of the year was on.
With water rising nearly a foot every five minutes, one horse was quickly freed, but it became clear that the second horse was stuck fast.
The Knott End ferry was used to transport help from Fleetwood Coastguard and additional volunteer lifeboat crew members. Wyre Fire Brigade also came to offer their expertise to the rapidly deteriorating situation.
After struggling with the exhausted horse for nearly an hour and with water around the neck of the animal, it eventually got free from the mud and clearly exhausted, took a short time to recover before being led ashore.
Captain David Eccles, Lifeboat Operations Manager for RNLI Fleetwood said: ‘This was a great example of a multi-agency rescue and we thank our colleagues from the Coastguard and Fire Service for their help and support on the day. With the tide rising fast, it was touch and go at one stage, but thankfully, it all ended well.’
RNLI Media contacts
For more information please contact Ken Harcombe, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on: 07970 197195.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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