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article imageVideo: Lifeboat rescues horse after fall from cliffs

By Kim I. Hartman     Jan 20, 2012 in Environment
Wales - Volunteers from the Cardigan Lifeboat station rescued a horse which had fallen from a cliff in Wales onto a rocky cove. The rescuers led the frightened animal through the rough waters of Ceibwr Bay to a nearby beach where it was reunited with its owner.
The two lifeboat crews from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Moylegrove Coast Guard were dispatched to rescue the horse after it fell 50-feet from a cliff at Ceibwr, Moylegrove, in Pembrokeshire.
Upon arriving on the scene the rescue crew members found the horse trapped in a rocky cove inaccessible by land. The horse was part of a group of Welsh mountain ponies grazing on the headlands above the dangerous cliffs, reports the Western Telegraph.
According to a news release from the Cardigan Lifeboat Station, "It was decided by all involved, the volunteer lifeboat crews and Moylegrove Coastguard, that the best way to carry out the rescue was to swim the animal around out of the cove and onto Ceibwr beach."
After obtaining a head collar from the owner of the horse, rescuers approached the distressed animal and managed to slip the halter over its head. Once the horse was secured by the halter and lead it was led out of the rocky cove through the water on a 25-minute long swim to a local beach where it was met by members of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the horse's owner.
The Cardigan Lifeboat Station crew, whose training is primarily focused on human rescues, said their main concern was keeping the horse's head above water during the long swim.
Coastguard Pete Fletcher said: "It was a great team effort. The lifeboat crew were brilliant. It took about 25 minutes to swim the horse round, and it was a good feeling to get it back. It would have drowned if it hadn't been removed as it was up to its waist in water when they got to it."
The daring rescue was filmed by a member of the Cardigan crew on a video head-cam. That footage was uploaded to YouTube and Facebook turning the rescuers into overnight heroes.
Following the dramatic rescue the tired, cold horse was safely returned to the owner's farm.
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