Swan rescued from Sewage Tank

Volunteer rescuers started wondering why they volunteered for their jobs after being called to rescue a swan which had crash landed at a sewage works at Uckfield today. (Thursday 25th October).

Southern Water staff from Uckfield’s Water Treatment works called East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) after the swan was still in the tank after two days, concerned that it could not get out. Rescue Co-ordinator for East Sussex WRAS, Trevor Weeks attended on site to find his swan hook was 2ft too short to reach the centre of the tank so he was joined by Duty Co-ordinator Maz Marriot from Brighton to help out.

"I had to climb into the overflow gully which runs around the edge of the tank which was slippery and make moving round the tank quickly difficult, the last thing I wanted was to fall into the central tank, which was rather deep and smelly! This was a difficult rescue, as our swan hooks were just too short to reach, and the further you try to reach with a swan hook the harder it becomes to control them," said Trevor.

Initially the rescuers tried to corner the swan against the rotating arm but the swan got wise to the idea and climbed over, so they then tried a net drapped across the arm so the swan could not climb over. Several attempt were tried but the swan was still too clever at avoiding the swan hook.

"We had to use a second net which was walked round to enclose the swan, the swan managed to get under the net on a couple of occasions, but we eventually suceeded when the swan tried to climb through the net and we were able to pull the swan to the edge and capture the swan" explained Trevor.

Trevor ended up with soaked clothing trying to catch the swan and had to have a shower afterwards as a result.

The swan was found to be fit and healthy and was released onto a lake on the site where there were two other young swans thought to be the swan age and possible siblings of the swan which was rescued.

"Our thanks to the Southern Water staff for there help with this rescue, there is no way this swan would have managed to fly out of its own accord as the tank was too small. The swan probably crash landed after experiencing turbulence crossing the by-pass and landed in the tank by accident." said Trevor.

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, East Sussex Wildlife Rescue - 07931 523958 (private).

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