Burnham-on-Sea RNLI assist in recovery of trapped horse

Lifeboats News Release

Burnham RNLI volunteers were taking part in their regular Sunday morning training session when they were requested by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist with a multi-agency rescue, on Berrow Beach, of a mud bound horse.

The launching tractor that assisted pulling the horse to safety

RNLI/Ian Brown

RNLI Launch tractor on Berrow beach

The stricken animal had become buried up to it’s haunches, in a position approximately 500 metres South-West of Burnham’s iconic lower lighthouse. The crew of D Class lifeboat Burnham Reach, were tasked directly to assist, while the crew of Atlantic 85 Doris Day and Brian, who had been exercising adjacent to Steepholme Island, immediately diverted to monitor the situation from an off-shore position. The incoming tide of course was a concern, high water expected at around 2.37pm.

This time it was the station shore crew volunteers called into action, as they assisted a rescue crew from Bedminster Avon fire rescue in carrying heavy equipment to the scene (the rescue team had been called into action at 10am, arriving on scene at around 11am.) The rescue crew arranged large canvas strops around the animal, and on direction from the fire crew, the RNLI tractor driver used the tractor’s winch to assist in pulling the animal to safety. Recovery was effective at around midday, and the launch tractor winch instrumental in extraction of the animal from it’s predicament.

Burnham’s Coastguard rescue team, and BARB search and rescue were also stood by in case of further assistance being required.

Tractor driver Stuart said after the event; ‘I was very concerned because the horse initially did not move after recovery, but eventually it raised it’s head, and was able to stand. The relieved owner was happily able to walk the horse to safety.’

Duty Deputy Launch Authority Lyndon Baker added; ‘We used the station’s launching tractors under direction from the fire service rescue team. A great result all round, and a wonderful effort from our shore volunteers.’

After the rescue we opened up our station washing facilities to the fire service who, as you can imagine, were covered with thick layers of Burnham mud.’

Conclusion: All in all a great multi-agency tasking with a very happy outcome. Thanks to all those members of the public for their words of support during and after the incident.

Notes to editors

Attached images with this release:-

File name: RNLI_Launch_tractor (RNLI/Ian Brown)

The launch tractor on Berrow beach during the incident

File name: horse_freed (RNLI/Ian Brown)

The rescued horse is led gently off the beach to safety

File name: muddy_rescuers1 (RNLI/Mike Lang)

File name: muddy_rescuers2 (RNLI/Mike Lang

Members of Bedminster Fire rescue - Matthew, Duncan and Gary cleaning down after the incident, at Burnham Lifeboat Station

Lifeboats in service at Burnham-on-Sea:

A 8.5m Atlantic 85 named Doris Day and Brian and a smaller 4.95m D class IB1 inflatable named Burnham Reach The station was opened officially on 15th May 2004, but has been operational since December 2003.

RNLI media contacts

For more information about this release please telephone Mike Lang, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07889 815860 or email mike.lang@btinternet.com,

In the absence of the above, contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

Alternatively, telephone Amy Caldwell RNLI Public Relations Manager (South)

Tel 07920 818 807, Amy_Caldwell@rnli.org.uk , or Emma Haines Press Officer; 07786 668847 emma_haines@rnli.org.uk

The freed horse is led slowly off the beach

RNLI/Ian Brown

The freed horse is led slowly off the beach
Muddy rescuers from Bedminster Fire rescue being hosed down at the lifeboat station(1)

RNLI/Mike Lang

Muddy rescuers from Bedminster Fire rescue being hosed down at the lifeboat station(1)
Muddy rescuers from Bedminster Fire rescue being hosed down at the lifeboat station(2)

RNLI/Mike Lang

Muddy rescuers from Bedminster Fire rescue being hosed down at the lifeboat station (2)

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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