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Worsening weather meant horses had to be moved

Jason Finch co-ordinated the water rescue team for the RSPCA, he said they were pleased with how the effort had gone.

We had been taking food out to these horses and have been monitoring them since the area flooded as they were healthy and we hoped that flood waters would recede. However, it became clear that, with the worsening weather and further rain forecast we had to take the decision to move these horses.

The horses did not want to go through the deeper waters and we had to urge them on. The actual rescue took about two hours as we had to be extremely careful to minimise the risk to the animals as well as to ourselves. We’re pleased that the rescue was successful and that the horses are home and dry.”

– Jason Finch, RSPCA Inspector

Horses had to swim to safety

One of the horses is guided to safety by members of the rescue team Credit: RSPCA

A specialist water rescue team from the RSPCA has rescued 18 horses from a flooded area in Christchurch, Dorset.

They started work at 7.30am on 6th February 2014. The operation involved 17 water rescue officers as well as two chief inspectors and an equine officer.

They set up a corral at the location in the Stony Lane area, followed by rope fences across the water to form a channel for the horses to go through and enter the corral. Most of the water was two feet deep but there were deeper places where the horses had to swim for five to six metres.