Stranded Shetland pony pulled to safety from swollen river

Firefighters had to rescue Nemo after he got into difficulty in the Forth in Aberfoyle.

Rescue: Shetland Pony Nemo got into difficulty. PA

Rescue: Shetland Pony Nemo got into difficulty. PA

Firefighters have rescued a Shetland Pony stranded in a swollen river in the Trossachs.

They were called to the scene near Lochard Road, Aberfoyle, at about 11am on Monday after the pony, named Nemo, got into difficulty in the Forth.

A team of firefighters used water rescue equipment to move the animal to safety as his owner stood by.

Two fire appliances and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service boat went to the scene, although the boat was not used.

A vet was also called to check Nemo over after the rescue.

Rescued: Nemo was soon back in the hands of his owner. PA

Rescued: Nemo was soon back in the hands of his owner. PA

Nemo’s owner praised the “amazing” work of firefighters who rescued him on Monday.

Kay Paterson went into the water herself to try to help the pony but was unable to move him until a rescue team arrived at the scene.

A friend passing on the road had seen Nemo go into the water and quickly called Ms Paterson.

She helped Nemo keep his head above water until a fire crew arrived.

Her sister, Lynn, said: “Nemo is fine, thankfully, and was given a thorough check by a vet who is pleased with him.

“There’s some antibiotics to ward off pneumonia and shock, but he seems to be fine.

“A friend of my sister’s was passing the road and saw Nemo go into the river.

“She quickly called Kay and she went into the field and saw him with just his head above the water.

“She went in and tried to help but he was panicky and there was a big branch stopping him get out, so she just helped keep his head up.

“He was also being weighed down by a rug he was wearing and his heavy coat, but the firemen were there quickly and it took them just five minutes to cut away the branch and get a sling around Nemo to help him out.”

Other horses that use the field can swim over the river and it is thought Nemo was trying to do the same but the water level had risen due to heavy rain.

Ms Paterson, who runs an equine rescue service that helps horses recover from injury, said: “He doesn’t usually go near there but some of the other horses can swim over, so he was perhaps nosey and wanted to join them.

“He’s a really sweet pony and with a name like Nemo this situation is a bit comical really. We can’t thank the officers enough, they were amazing.”