Man swims out to rescue gull at Eastbourne harbour

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A member of the public swam out to rescue a drowning young gull at Sovereign Harbour last night (Thursday) which was struggling to stay afloat.

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) received a call from a member of the public, named only as Harry, and his family after they came across a young gull with fishing line wrapped around its wing and legs at Sovereign Harbour Eastbourne.

The bird was trailing a large amount of rigging consisting of 15 hooks of various different sizes and barbs. The young bird was unable to fly or even get out of the water. It had been on the water some time and was starting to give up when rescuers arrived.

“It could barely hold its head up when we arrived and it quickly became clear that our rescue nets couldn’t reach the bird and our boat was too far away to be of assistance quickly enough,” said rescuer Jen Holloway.

“We were when Harry then did something truly amazing and swam out to the bird. Risking becoming entangled in the line and caught on hooks, the member of the public managed to swim the gull to shore where rescuers were then able to take over and save the gull.”

Rescuer rushed the gull to WRAS’s emergency vet where the hooks were safely removed and the bird’s wounds treated.

Eastbourne gull SUS-150731-091909001

Eastbourne gull SUS-150731-091909001

WRAS would like to express its thanks to Harry and his family for undertaking such a brave rescue and saving the birds life.

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