COUNTY NEWS: Cow rescued after swimming ‘five miles’ down Sussex river

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A cow was rescued after swimming almost ‘five miles’ down a Sussex river.

The animal was spotted floating down part of the River Ouse in Lewes yesterday afternoon (Friday June 10).

Firefighters from Lewes along with an Animal Rescue Unit from Crowborough were called to Church Lane at 2.50pm.

A spokesman for the fire service said crews spent more than three hours attempting to rescue the cow.

It was finally taken out of the water further down the river at Willey Bridge just before 6pm.

Mike Dunford, from Brighton, was walking along the river with friends when he spotted the animal.

He said he watched firefighters and a farmer get it out of the water and attempt to lead it into a cattle truck.

“They were trying to coax it over the bridge with calls of ‘come on cow, come on cow,’ and into a waiting cattle truck, but it seemed reluctant and firmly held its ground,” he said.

“It turned out that the cow had somehow got into the river at Barcombe and swum the 4-5 miles down the Ouse to Lewes, as far as the pedestrian bridge.

“Eventually, after running alongside the river for a distance, the farmer had managed to lasso the cow and pull it out of the water, with the help of the fire and rescue team. By the time we arrived at the scene they’d had to temporarily closed off the bridge to complete the rescue operation.”

After a few minutes of trying to persuade the cow it eventually crossed the bridge and went into the farmers truck.

“In the ten years or so I have been walking these areas I can safely say I have never seen a cow swimming,” he added.

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