Keep an eye out for Crashed Swans

Rescuer Tony delivers a crashed swan from Langney to WRAS's Casualty Centre

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service has dealt with numerous calls to crashed swans over the past week.

It is that time of year when young swans are leaving their parents and flying around, but they are still wearing their L plates.  East Sussex WRAS is urging anyone who sees a swan crash land to call their local wildlife rescue as often these swans injure their keel or have very painful injuries which cannot be seen externally.   The service is asking people not to herd swans into nearby ponds and rivers but to stay with the swan, keeping them safe and to call for help.

“The swan may still be able to walk around, but could be suffering from invisible injuries. Staying with the swan will keep the swan safe and stop them from walking out into the road, but will also help our ambulances to quickly find the swan and get them picked up and checked over” said WRAS Rescue Co-ordinator Trevor Weeks MBE.

This morning WRAS’s veterinary ambulances have attended two calls within just 15 minutes of each other. One call via Sussex Police to a swan by Fort Fun on Eastbourne Sea Front and the other just off Wordsworth Drive Langney. Unfortunately nobody was waiting with the swan near Fort Fun which wasn’t found, but the lady stayed with the swan at Langney and that was picked up and taken to WRAS’s Casualty Centre for assessment.

A swan being rescued after crashing near Normans Bay

“Most crashed swans recover within 24-48 hours and can be released, but those with more serious injuries can take a couple of weeks or more, and sometimes need specialist help from the Swan Sanctuary at Shepperton” said Trevor.

These incidents increase at this time of year as youngster start to fly off from their parents and explore the local area, but as they are not that experienced they get caught out during windy weather as well as suffering from turbulence, it’s a myth that they land on roads thinking they are water.

East Sussex WRAS is set to deal with over 5000 casualties this year for the first time in its history after an extremely busy and challenging year.  “This will be over 1000 casualties up on last year” added Trevor, “financially it has been tough, so we need to the support from local people as much as possible especially if we are to cope with similar numbers next year.”

Anyone wanting to make a donation can do so by visiting or by posting a donation to East Sussex WRAS, PO Box 2148, Seaford, BN25 9DE.

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2 thoughts on “Keep an eye out for Crashed Swans

  1. Fiona Attwater

    There is a dead swan by stream next to the bridge by the Wattling road play area. It's has open wounds, can't see it's head. Seems fairly fresh. It's mate is hanging about near by. Not sure if this should be dealt with as it's a swan. Lots of young children pass over that bridge twice a day, not nice for them to see it like that.

    1. East Sussex WRAS

      Post author

      Please give Eastbourne Borough Council a ring as they own the site and therefore can deal with the disposal.


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