Three rescuers and two ambulances rushed to the aid of a swan covered head to toe in blood on Friday.
Members of the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service including Trevor Weeks, Chris Riddington from Eastbourne and Tony Neads of Polegate rushed to the scene and found the swan in a field just west of the road between the village of Wartling and Pevensey Service Station.
“I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” said Chris. “The swan was completely red, there were no white feathers at all, just blood everywhere.”
The rescuers effort were hampered due to flooding across the field and after the swan managed to fly off.
“We were really surprised the swan flew but as it was so windy it really didn’t take much more than the swan opening it wings in order to take off,” said Trevor.
“The swan landed in a drainage dyke at the far side of the field. The first three channels which are normally dry during the summer were about knee deep in water. When I got close to the swan it was in an awkward place for me to get to but an ideal place to try capture. There was only one thing for it and that was to take my jacket and fleece off and swim across the dyke.”
Chris said, “From the other side of the field we couldn’t believe what Trevor was doing and all of a sudden he just disappeared into the water and then reappeared as he climbed out again.”
The rescue plan worked and Trevor was able to catch the swan successfully.
Tony said, “Trevor was soaking wet from head to toe, and clearly very cold too, so after bedding the swan down in the ambulance and providing first aid, we wrapped Trevor in blankets and both were driven back to WRAS’s Casualty Centre for treatment.
Back at the centre the swan was checked over and found to have numerous deep cuts one of which was a venus bleed.
After seeking advice from the Swan Sanctuaries Veterinary Team we decided to send the swan up to their specialist vets to asses,” said Trevor. “But we hope the swan will be suitable for returning to the area once fit and well.”