Rescue teams save more than a dozen sheep trapped by Storm Franklin floods in North Yorkshire

Credit: UWFRA
The animals were trapped next to a barbed wire fence, after the river burst its banks at Kilnsey during Storm Franklin. Credit: UWFRA

A team of firefighters and mountain rescuers have saved more than a dozen sheep who were trapped by floodwater in North Yorkshire.

The Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association were called to assist North Yorkshire Fire Service at 9.30am yesterday morning (20 February).

Around 20 animals had climbed onto a wall to escape floodwater, after the river burst its banks at Kilnsey during Storm Franklin, but had got trapped by the barbed wire fence on top.

Credit: UWFRA

Pictures show the UWFRA water team wading through chest high water to reach them.

Crews managed to save eighteen sheep by carrying some, encouraging others to swim, and floating the weakest across on a small raft.

Unfortunately, it's thought two sheep had died before help arrived.

Credit: UWFRA

Derek Hammond, one of UWFRA's controllers who was out on the day, told ITV News Tyne Tees: "We were called by the police on behalf of the fire service at 9.30am.

"The sheep were stuck on top of a wall near Kilnsey Crag and the water had topped flood defenses.

"Around 20 sheep had got stuck and we rescued all those who were alive. We think two had died before we got there either from drowning or hypothermia in the night."

Credit: UWFRA

Posting on social media, farmer Ruth Hall praised the rescue teams' response.

She said: "Thank you so much to the Fire service and Fell Rescue. An amazing rescue of the sheep that were still alive.

"A sad morning as some never made it but we are really grateful."

There remain several flood alerts along the River Wharfe.