Monday 22 January 2018

We're coming to get ewe! Sheep left stranded on mountain ledge after 200ft cliff fall

Credit: RNLI
Credit: RNLI
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Rescue teams rushed to the aid of a sheep left stranded on a mountain ledge after it fell 200 feet from a cliff.

The distressed animal was spotted on the ravine ledge in Co Donegal by three local fisherman on Sunday afternoon.

Malin Head Coast Guard received the alert at around 4.30pm and Lough Swilly’s inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat responded to the call.

The volunteer lifeboat crew met by the fishermen at the scene who helped direct them to where the sheep was located.

In the meantime, a kayaker had spotted the stranded animal and paddled close to the cliff in an attempt to encourage the animal back up the hill.

After this rescue attempt failed, the lifeboat crew and the kayaker entered the water and made their way towards the sheep.

The animal was then safely caught and gently placed in the kayak before transferring her into the lifeboat.

The sheep was comforted by the crew aboard the lifeboat and safely brought back to more familiar surroundings on shore.

Speaking following the call out, Joe Joyce, Lough Swilly RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘We think the young sheep had fallen about 200 feet and with nowhere to go she was shaking from her ordeal by the time we took her onboard the lifeboat."

"The RNLI is often called upon to rescue animals and we are always happy to assist not only to bring them to safety but also to ensure the safety of pet owners or farmers who may risk their own life in attempting to bring their animal safely back to shore."

Favourable weather conditions and a flat calm sea aided the rescue team's smooth operation.

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