Swan dramatically rescued from Preston lake, too weak to survive

The cygnet was rescued by the RSPCA and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service but later died due to the ordeal. Credit: RSPCA

A baby swan was rescued after it was spotted in distress on a lake near Preston but later died due to the exhaustion of its ordeal.

RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer Kelly Nix dashed out to the lake known locally as Vernons Lodge, in Penwortham after taking an off-duty call from a family member.

The cygnet was seen thrashing around in the water and was separated from his siblings. He appeared too lethargic to swim back to land, and after attempting to reach him with her reach and rescue pole, Kelly called Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

An officer, donned for a water rescue, swam out to reach the stricken bird and carried him back to shore.

The swan was seen in distress in the water alone. Rescuers suggested he may have been abandoned by his parents. Credit: RSPCA

Sadly, the bird had been so weakened by his ordeal that he passed away later in the animal rescue officer’s arms following the rescue.

“The cygnet was just too weak to get about. He was throwing his head around and looked very lethargic. My pole was a bit too short to reach, so I contacted the fire service,” said Kelly.

“My daughter had been at the lake and called me to come out. I took the bird home and tried to warm him up, but unfortunately there was a sad ending to this rescue.

"But we were very grateful for the help of the fire officers as we were at least able to get the young swan onto land and assess his condition.

A rescuer from Lancashire Fire and Rescue dived in to help save the swan. Credit: RSPCA

“It could well be the case that he was so weak and poorly that it encouraged his parents to abandon him.

“But we would always encourage people to report incidents like this so we can look into the situation and offer help.

“We are so grateful to the fire and rescue service who helped us and they use incidents like this for training purposes.”

If you do see wild fowl in distress then you can report it to the RSPCA online or call 0300 1234 999. Due to the ongoing outbreak of bird flu, you should not try to touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find; more information is available on the RSPCA’s website