Firefighters battle to save calf from cesspit on farm near North Walsham

Calf. Photo: Alan Endersby

Calf. Photo: Alan Endersby - Credit:

Firefighters emptied a cesspit with buckets in a near three-hour battle to save a stricken calf.

Thaine Hacon

Thaine Hacon - Credit: Archant

The young animal had fallen into the open cesspit on a farm at Ridlington, near North Walsham.

It was just managing to keep its head above the water line when fire crews arrived, according to watch manager Thaine Haconwho was at the incident with colleagues from Great Yarmouth, together with teams from North Walsham and the Dereham-based Urban Search and Rescue.

Firefighters, who arrived on scene shortly before 6pm on Monday, managed to put a strap on the sandy-coloured calf's head and held it above water throughout the smelly and painstaking procedure, according to Mr Hacon.

Equipment used to pump out the excrement had quickly become blocked and so they had resorted to donning face masks and emptying the cesspit with buckets, he added.

They had also lifted concrete and cleared foliage to help clear the way for the rescue.

Eventually, crews were able to haul the calf up on lines.

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'It was quite calm and seemed OK,' said Mr Hacon.

'The other cows greeted it as it came out and started cleaning it up.

'It was quite a lengthy process because we had to assess the situation first and, as you can imagine, there was a lot of decontamination involved afterwards.'

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