A pair of horses had a lucky escape after they became stuck in sinking sand surrounded by a rapidly-rising tide.
At around 10.30am on Sunday (18 September), the skipper of the Knott End ferry in Lancashire spotted two girls on their horses, who seemed to be in trouble and stuck in mud, at Knott End beach.
The coastguard was alerted, and contacted Fleetwood RNLI for help, however the horses managed to free themselves and the lifeboat crew was stood down.
But minutes later the pair sank again and the volunteer lifeboat crew launched the inshore lifeboat to assist the coastguard.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service were also called and sent crews from Bispham and Fleetwood.
One horse was quickly freed, but the second — called Eddie — was stuck fast, with the water rising at a rate of nearly a foot every five minutes.
The Knott End ferry was used to bring helpers from Fleetwood Coastguard and further volunteer lifeboat crew members.
“After struggling with the exhausted horse for nearly an hour and with water around the neck of the animal, he eventually got free from the mud, Clearly exhausted, he took a short time to recover before being led ashore,” said a RNLI spokesman.
Captain David Eccles, volunteer lifeboat operations manager for RNLI Fleetwood, said it was a “great example” of a multi-agency rescue.
“We thank our colleagues from the coastguard and fire service for their help and support on the day,” he said. “With the tide rising fast, it was touch and go at one stage, but thankfully, it all ended well.”
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A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said firefighters went into the water and were able to help rescue the horse using specialist large-animal equipment.
He added one horse was rescued prior to their arrival and crews were there for about an hour.
Eddie’s owner posted a photo of him safely at home in his stable after the dramatic rescue, thanking all those involved.