Swan rescued from fishing line trap in West Norfolk lake
An animal charity officer has today told how he waded into a West Norfolk lake to rescue a stricken swan which was trapped in fishing lines.
RSPCA officials say the bird could hardly move when they found it at Pentney Lakes earlier this month.
The swan has now been released back into the wild following 11 days of treatment at the charity's East Winch Wildlife Centre.
Inspector Jason Finch, the RSPCA's national water rescue co-ordinator, said: "When my colleague RSPCA Inspector Ben Kirby arrived at the lake and assessed the situation, he could see the only way to access this stricken bird was through the water.
"It was clear that this would require water rescue expertise, so I joined Ben and we carried out the rescue together.
“After putting on my PPE, which includes a dry suit, helmet, gloves and buoyancy aid - I attached a safety ropeand Ben held the other end of it at all times while I was in the water.
“I had toswim out around 30 metres before I reached the poor bird.
"He had become severely entangled in a line attached to a torpedo shaped fishing bait thrower, so I had to use my clippers to cut him free before I was able to take him back to shore."
The bird was taken straight to East Winch following the rescue, which happened on June 7, and was released from the centre on Thursday.
News of the incident comes just days after the RSPCA released footage of a male swan returning to his family ahead of Father's Day following treatment for similar injuries at East Winch.
And the charity has repeated its pleas for anglers to be careful with their materials round the water.
Mr Finch said: “This particular water rescue had a happy ending, but it could so easily have ended in tragedy.
"The majority of anglers do dispose of their litter properly and it is frustrating that those who don’t perhaps don’t realise how dangerous it is to animals.
"Discarded line in particular is a terrible hazard for wildlife, particularly as it can be almost invisible.
"We would urge all anglers to take special care to clear up their angling litter to protect wildlife from injury and death.”
Anyone who is concerned about the welfare of an animal should contact the RSPCA's emergency hotline on 0300 1234999.