Firefighters rescue cow stuck in swimming pool

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(Last Updated On: April 1, 2022)

The fire service had an unusual call out last night when they were called to reports of an incident involving a cow in a swimming pool.

The fire service were called around 11pm to reports of a cow stuck in a swimming pool in Marldon after escaping from a nearby field.

Crews from Torquay and Paignton attended, along with the animal rescue team from Exmouth.

Paignton Fire Station said on Facebook: “The Paignton crew were first to arrive, and the Officer in Charge initially decided to pump some of the water out so the cow, actually a 600kg bullock, could stand a support itself. When they started pumping out the water the cow seemed to swim along the pool and investigate the pump!

“Once the specialist animal team turned up, we all got together to discuss the best way to remove him from the pool, providing the least stressful way for the cow and the safest option for our crews. Large animal rescues can be very dangerous due to the unpredictable behaviour of animals, so crew safety is paramount.

“So, the plan of action was to feed webbing strops under the cow after getting him in the corner of the pool, then bring in a telehandler and lift him out supported comfortably. Whilst this was ongoing a local farmer positioned a cattle trailer ready for him to move straight into.

“The operation went very smoothly, cow lifted, moved to the trailer, and was then held in the harness for a few minutes until he could support himself again. By this time, he had been in the pool for 3-4 hours and was very cold, with obviously numb legs.

“The harness we use provides the ability for the cow to stand just weight bearing, but still supported by the telehandler, where we can then pull a toggle mechanism from outside the penned off area by the trailer, which means the harness just fails to the ground and the cow walks away. No need to risk the safety of our personnel to physically get close to remove the harness.

“A really good outcome for one very cold young bullock. He did spend quite some time with his nose just below the surface blowing bubbles, which he seemed to enjoy!”


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