Fire crews stage dramatic rescue in Norwich - as swan gets stuck on a restaurant's roof
PUBLISHED: 23:00 13 April 2016 | UPDATED: 23:00 13 April 2016
Archant Norfolk 2016
An unusual rescue took place outside a recently-closed city restaurant after a swan found itself trapped on a roof.
The animal had landed above La Tasca in Tombland shortly before 5.20pm today and was unable to take off again due to a lack of space.
It led to both the RSPCA and the fire service stage a dramatic rescue in the city centre to try to bring the bird back down safely.
Dep Chief Insp Ben Kirby, from the animal charity, said: “Myself and a colleague came down initially to have a look, and we soon realised we were never going to reach it with our equipment. So the fire service very kindly agreed to help us out.
“We went up there and managed to get a hook around its neck, but it slipped off. It then took a running jump off the roof and had a controlled fall into a small court yard at the back.”
The fire service brought in an aerial ladder platform from Great Yarmouth, which lifted both Mr Kirby and two firemen up to the roof of the restaurant.
The incident attracted crowds of bemused onlookers, who stopped to find out what was going on.
Mr Kirby said the female swan was uninjured, despite it clipping – and breaking – a chimney stack above the restaurant.
He explained that when wet, flat roofs can glisten in the sunlight and from the air look like a stretch of water – confusing animals flying overhead.
The swan was later released into the River Wensum.
Duncan Ashworth, station manager at Earlham, said: “There was no easy access to the roof other than using the aerial platform. But the swan used its natural instincts and threw itself off. Thank fully it was in one piece when it landed.”
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