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Clifden Lifeboat Rescues Bull In Distress After Slip Down Steep Cliff

26th December 2018
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Clifden RNLI rescue the bull in distress after its slip down a steep cliff Clifden RNLI rescue the bull in distress after its slip down a steep cliff Photo: RNLI/Nuala McAloon

#Lifeboats - Volunteers from Clifden RNLI had a pre-Christmas callout to go to the aid of a bull who fell from a steep cliff near the western Connemara town on Saturday evening (22 December).

At 5pm, Clifden RNLI’s deputy launching authority Saul Joyce requested the station’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat to launch to assist a local farmer whose bull had slipped down a cliff and become stuck on the shoreline below.

The area was inaccessible by road and difficult to access on foot. The farmer, three members of the public and the local vet were on scene.

Helmed by Alan Pryce and with crew members Thomas Davis, Daniel Whelan and Ian Shanahan onboard, the lifeboat was launched immediately and attended the scene around half a mile from the station.

Weather conditions at the time were favourable with a light westerly Force 1-2 breeze. The sea was flat and calm at high tide.

Crew member Davis was put ashore to assist the farmer and vet, and a plan was put in place whereby a bridle or halter was attached to the animal and passed to the lifeboat.

Under the instruction of the vet and farmer, the lifeboat gently made way astern and used the tension on the line to guide the animal off the dangerous rocks into the water.

The lifeboat crew then guided the bull as it swam to a nearby beach, where it made its way up the shore to safety.

The lifeboat stood by until all parties were safely away from the cliffs and water and then returned to base.

Speaking following the rescue, Clifden RNLI Helm Alan Pryce said: “We were happy to assist the local farmer and vet to help the bull out of the hazardous position it was in.

“We are very aware of the dangers posed by large animals that are distressed and were glad to be able to assist the farmer while also providing a safety presence to him and the individuals working with him to bring the bull to safety, on what was a dangerous and dark shore.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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