Friday, December 10, 2010

Firefighters deploy their £500,000 aerial ladder... to rescue a SEAGULL caught up a tree


Heavens above: Firefighters use an aerial ladder platform to rescue the bird who has been named 'Willy'

A seagull sparked a major rescue operation involving dozens of emergency service workers - after it became trapped 50 feet up a tree.

The bird - who has been dubbed 'Freed Willy' - was spotted in distress by car salesman Steve Candler who called the RSPCA.

But because of the bird's precarious position firefighters had to use their £500,000 aerial ladder platform to get to it.

However, before the rescue could start a busy road had to be closed to traffic so they could rescue 'Willy'.

Salesman Mr Candler said: 'I came in to open up and I could hear this horrible screaming noise, I could tell it was a bird and then I spotted him hanging there from a branch where it had got stuck.

'I was really expecting it to wrench its leg off to get free as there were other birds attacking it.

'The woman from the RSPCA turned up but there was no way of getting a normal ladder up that high. It was as high as a three-storey house so she decided to call in the firefighters.'

A lone officer from Essex Fire and Rescue Service initially came out to the scene in Colchester, Essex, but the decision was made to deploy the aerial ladder platform to get to the bird - something which is normally used to rescue people from burning buildings.

Major operation: Firefighters cordon off the road as the seagull is rescued from the tree

A firefighter was able to free the seagull by cutting down the branch it was trapped on and placing him in a large box.

Mr Candler, 36, said: 'I was quite surprised with the extent of the operation that was put into place, but I was glad that they cared about something so small as I am a bird lover.

'I was surprised at the lengths they went to though. It's certainly very unusual to see a seagull trapped in a tree - I wonder if he had been drinking some Christmas brandy a bit early in the day?

'The main thing is that he got saved and it was a happy ending.'

After the rescue Willy was taken to a nearby animal sanctuary where it was checked over and released.

source: dailymail

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