Ipswich: Swans rescued in river oil spill drama

NEARLY a dozen swans had to be rescued from the River Orwell after an oil spill.

RSPCA officers were called after reports of an oil slick near the Orwell Bridge in Ipswich.

Inspector Jason Finch and animal collection officer Kate Cornforth rescued 11 swans including a family of a male and female and their four cygnets on Tuesday but sadly one of the cygnets has since died.

Mr Finch said: “This was a successful rescue although it did take four hours to remove all the swans which appeared to be covered in some kind of oil, although we are not sure what the cause of the leak was.”

The RSPCA used one of its rescue boats to collect the birds which were still on the water.

He added: “We would really like to thank the members of the Orwell Yacht Club who assisted in the rescue.”

The birds were taken to the East Winch Wildlife Centre where they isolated, given fluids and charcoal to absorb any ingested oil.

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The oil spill was reported on Sunday and Associated British Ports (ABP) immediately mobilised specialist equipment and personnel.

A spokesman said: “The source of the oil is under investigation but it is thought to be land-based and linked to particularly torrential and sustained rainfall. Spill containment and recovery was initiated in an expedient manner in line with training and contingency plans utilising specialist personnel and equipment.

“We continue to monitor, assess, and remediate.”

The swans will be released back into the wild when they are healthy.

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