Seventeen firefighters rescue bull

Bull being rescued  from a drainage ditch by firefighters ditch in Borve, September 25, 2015.
Bull being rescued from a drainage ditch by firefighters ditch in Borve, September 25, 2015.

A bull was rescued from a drainage ditch in Borve today by 17 firefighters, in what the station manager described as one of the most difficult animal rescues he had attended.

The call for assistance was received by operations control at 8.51am this morning. A large bull had become almost completely submerged in a drainage ditch. An appliance from Ness was initially sent to the scene.

When the crew arrived the animal was almost submerged in the ditch with only its nose protruding. The crew immediately cleared mud away from its head and called for further resources.

Appliances from Stornoway and Shawbost then attended to assist. Station Manager Steve Oliver was in charge at the scene and he described the incident as one of the most difficult animal rescues he had ever been at.

He said: “If it had been an hour later the animal may have been completely submerged. We enlisted the help of a mechanical excavator to help dig and we had to go down three metres into the peat before we could get strops underneath the animal to help get it out.

“We then managed to free the animal and it became stuck twice more before the vet managed to walk it onto firmer ground and assess its condition. It appeared to be uninjured so it was a happy ending.”

The last appliance didn’t leave the scene until 3pm. There were 17 firefighters involved in the operation.