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'It was very dangerous': Video shows two men saving swan stuck in fishing net

PUBLISHED: 16:59 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:06 07 August 2019

Stewart Knight, 39, and Alec Smith, 34, from Lowestoft, saved a swan caught in fishing nets in Beccles. Photo: Stewart Knight

Stewart Knight, 39, and Alec Smith, 34, from Lowestoft, saved a swan caught in fishing nets in Beccles. Photo: Stewart Knight

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Two men from Suffolk have been praised after a video caught them saving a swan stuck in fishing nets.

Stewart Knight, 39, and Alec Smith, 34, from Lowestoft, were chub fishing on the river Waveney near Ellingham Mill in Bungay when they saw a swan in distress.

Mr Knight said "I could see the swan was in real distress and struggling. The line was stuck at the other end so as he was trying to pull away he was pulling his head under water.

"I could have called the RSPCA but I felt they might have been too late."

Mr Knight, who is seen on the video jumping into the water with no hesitation, said it was "an adrenaline-fuelled few minutes".

He said: "Once I got a hold of the line, the stuck end turned out to be a great big old pike lure. So on one end I've got a swan that wants to go dragging line through my hands, and a rusty old lure with great big hooks sliding towards my hand.

"The whole time I was thinking, 'these animals can break a man's arm'."

Mr Knight said: "I can't see an animal in trouble and leave it. But I would note it was very dangerous, as an ex-sea fisherman who has done sea survival I felt confident around the line and in the water.

"I don't suggest anyone does the same, but should ring the RSPCA or Environment Agency instead."

The video was shared on Facebook, and received over 220 likes.

One commenter said: "Good on you, we need more people like you in Lowestoft. I hope this swan was okay."

Another said: "Amazing, you are literally a life saver."

Two other commenters said the two men should receive recognition from the queen and even placement on her honour's list for saving a protected animal.

One other person said: "Very brave as well, because swans can be quite vicious."

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