Daring night-time bridge rescue for stricken swan

Wildlife volunteers have carried out a daring night-time rescue on a bridge in Sussex.

The swan is thought to have crash landed on the footbridge which crosses between Shoreham Beach and Shoreham Town Centre.

To make matters worse the bridge is currently closed and rescuers had to close over the security fencing in order rescue the swan which was trapped.

Trevor Weeks and his partner Kathy Martyn from Uckfield, drove the 40 minute drive to Shoreham as local residents were unable to find anyone closer willing to help at that time of night.

Kathy clambers onto the bridge to grab the swan Credit: East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service

“When we arrived two local residents were talking to the swan feeding it bread and trying to keep it close to the end of the footbridge to make it easier for us to catch. As the bridge was closed to pedestrians, we had to climb over the 7ft high fencing by climbing on the concrete pillars and original bridge railings. It was not easy to get over and I ripped by trousers in the process, I clearly not as young as I used to be!

“I was able to corner the swan on the bridge, give it a check over and then pass the 10kg bird up to, my ever understanding partner, Kathy who held onto it until I was able to climb back over the security fencing”

– Trevor Weeks MBE, East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service
Safe at last Credit: East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service

Once back on the road side Trevor and Kathy carried the swan across the marshland as far as they could safely in the dark towards the river, before releasing the swan and letting it waddle off back to the safety of the river.

Gently does it - Kathy releases the swan Credit: East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service

“I suspect the swan probably collided with the bridge in the dark and landed by chance on the footbridge. The local residents told us it had been walking backwards and forwards for well over an hour before they decided it needed help. It would have been stuck there till the morning and potentially attacked by a fox or dog. However, it was good to see him get released and glad he didn’t have any injuries as a result of this incident”

– Trevor Weeks MBE, East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service
Free at last! Credit: East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service