I was asked to check a report of a swan with fishing tackle at Abbots Lake, Stansted Abbots. When I arrived I saw what I thought was the pen (female) sitting on a nest on the far bank. I looked to see if there were any other swans with line attached, but only found a very healthy cob. I was about to leave but noticed the reeds above the pen looked pinched, almost in a wigwam shape. After a phone call to check the callout details, I was told the report from a dog walker was that the swan was tethered.
I needed a boat!
My saviour arrived in the form of Matt from Herts Canoe club, who kindly left work to come and help. Thank you to Matt's boss for that one.
It took several reccies from Matt to report back to me what he was seeing and then we made a plan that involved Matt having to beach his kayak in the reeds, so he could reach the swan who was tangled in yards of fishing line.
She was soon cut free and Matt had to skull back one handed with her balanced on his kayak. Just awesome!
The swan had a hook in her neck and yards and yards of line wrapped around her legs and whole body, making it impossible for her to move. Reports are that she had been there for several days. Some of her injuries were very nasty, due to the line cutting into her legs. She has been transferred to The Swan Sanctuary for treatment.
I can't express how grateful I am to everyone who helped me on that day.
Carl, Matt, Steve, Mel, Gill, Phi and the EA.