Watch: The water's friesian! - Kinsale RNLI involved in daring rescue of seafaring cow
A COW named 'Ghost' narrowly avoided becoming a sea phantom thanks to the prompt response of a courageous Cork RNLI crew.
The cow apparently stumbled from the field in which she was grazing last Saturday down a cliff and onto shoreline rocks outside Kinsale, Co Cork.
The area is just a short distance from the popular tourist town and close to Dock Beach and Jarley's Cove.
With the tide and waves lapping at her hooves, 'Ghost' was at very real risk of drowning.
The alarm was raised by a member of Kinsale Yacht Club who happened to spot the distressed bovine.
The Irish Coast Guard referred the matter to Kinsale RNLI and they launched an intricate operation to save the somewhat reluctant cow.
Kinsale RNLI official, Kevin Gould, said the painstaking operation was made all the more complicated by the fact the cow was distressed and, as a result, uncooperative.
"It was a challenging rescue for our crew," he said.
"The whole thing lasted about three and a half hours. The animal was very distressed. She was also very aggressive."
Six RNLI officials were involved.
'Ghost' had by now suffered cuts to her hooves and legs as she battled to find a safe ledge on the rocks and avoid the rising seas.
RNLI members, supported by local volunteers, closed the beach and made the decision that the best way of saving 'Ghost' was to float her to safety.
The RNLI lifeboat, Sally Anne Baggy II, was used to gently guide and tow the cow to the safety of a nearby cove where she could be brought ashore.
The farmer who owns 'Ghost' assisted with handling the cow who was by now fed up of all the humans trying to help her.
"The concern was that if someone else had tried to help the cow, they could have ended up getting injured themselves. Our crew are specially trained for this kind of situations and have rescued animals before."
Despite being distressed by being in the sea, 'Ghost' was still reluctant to allow her rescuers guide her ashore.
"She did need bit of gentle persuasion to get back up onto dry land".
With the use of a rope halter, the cow was guided from the water onto a beach and then into a nearby field.
She was then taken by trailer to a shed where her minor injuries were treated and she celebrated her rescue with an extra portion of hay and nuts.