Horse rescued after plunging into freezing canal in Leigh
12:10pm Tuesday 10th December 2013 in North West
A HORSE has been rescued by firefighters after plunging into a freezing canal in Leigh.
The female rider of Honey, a six-year-old mare, was lying injured on the canal bank approximately 300 metres away from her horse when firefighters arrived.
Crews from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) were called to the Leeds Liverpool Canal near to Pennington Flash at 2.17pm on Sunday, December 8.
When firefighters arrived, members of the public were attempting to reach Honey who was stranded in the water.
Station Manager Ben Levy said: "The horse was quite distressed when crews arrived so we worked alongside a vet who sedated the horse. A local farmer turned up so we used his tractor to lift the horse and get slings underneath the animal.
"The slings were tied to the fork lift of the tractor and crew from Eccles' Water Incident Unit - who are specially trained in large animal rescue - safely lifted the horse from the water.
"The rider was treated by colleagues from North West Ambulance Service and firefighters and was carried approximately 300 metres to the ambulance before being taken to hospital.
"Luckily nobody else was injured but there were people trying to go in and get hold of the horse before we arrived so there could have been further injuries.
"I'd urge the public to never attempt to rescue an animal or person trapped in open water because you could get into difficulties yourself."
The woman was taken to hospital with suspected chest injuries and the horse was treated by a vet - both are expected to make a full recovery.
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