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Rescuers mount daring mission to save horses from rising river

Teams took two two dinghies out on the river near Enniscorthy this evening to steer the animals back to dry land.
Nov 14th 2014, 10:56 PM 37,111 43

Updated at 7pm

TEAMS TRYING TO rescue a group of 17 horses stranded in rising waters on the Slaney near Enniscorthy are reporting success tonight.

Earlier, around 12 horses were transported to safety at another location on the river.

In the latest operation, volunteers from the Wexford Search and Rescue brought two dinghies out on the river to try and guide the animals to safety.

“They were up to their bellies — we really only had a very short window to save them, because the waters were rising,” an inspector from Wexford Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said from the scene.

Pic: Sarah Murphy

The horses were stranded on an area of boggy ground known as the island — upriver from Enniscorthy.

They were moved away from the river last night, but went back down to lower ground overnight.

“Nobody was expecting this volume of water,” the inspector said.

“The lads from Waterford Search and Rescue pretty much got them corralled to safety. They had to swim.

“There were a few tense moments,” she said.

First rescue

Earlier, the other group of horses (below) found their own way to safety, after a number of attempts to reach them.

 Jennifer Miller  via Twitter

Concerns were raised yesterday about the animals, which were on a flood plain near the Riverbank Hotel.

“Pleased to announce all the horses are now out of the river by the Riverbank and are safe and sound, owners have been there all morning with our Inspector with horse boxes and lorries,” a statement by the Society on Facebook said, shortly after 2pm.

Read: Ready for rush hour? The next severe weather warning kicks in at 4pm 

Photos: The floods have arrived 

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Daragh Brophy

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