A four-hour multi-agency effort went into action to rescue a horse nearly submerged in a mud hole Wednesday afternoon.
“Over the course of, well, a few hours we finally got this horse (free),” said Tim Fairbanks, search manager for Campbell River Search and Rescue. “It was a big mud hole. Really only the horse’s shoulders, a bit of its back, forelegs and head were out of the puddle. The entire hind section was in.”
The original call went out for an injured rider after the horse was spooked by a wasp nest near McIvor Lake. Upon arrival, it was discovered that the horse was in the most distress.
An Emergency Health Services ambulance crew, the Fire Department and the RCMP were on scene and Campbell River Search and Rescue soon joined them. Two veterinarians were also called to the scene to provide medical advice. More than 20-25 people were involved.
With all that personnel in place, a rope and pulley system was set up in the trees and looped underneath the horse to help extricate it. Then it was a matter of digging and hauling on the rope. Eventually the horse was freed .
“It’s not something we’d ever dealt with before. We had to learn on the go,” said Capt. Ken Dawson of the Campbell River Fire Department.
The horse appeared to be tiring throughout the ordeal but was eventually able to walk away from the scene and back to its home, covered in mud but alive.
A mud-caked horse is led away from mud hole it took four hours and approximately two-dozen rescuers to free it from