Woman jumps into river - to save horse

A HERO woman plunged into a fast-flowing river today to rescue a terrified horse as firefighters looked on amazed.

A HERO woman plunged into a fast-flowing river today to rescue a terrified horse as firefighters looked on amazed.

Dorne Arlington, 38, of Outwell in Cambridgeshire, waded into the treacherous Fenland waters to save the helplessly stranded pony.

The brave lifelong horse-lover boldly volunteered to stride into the Middle Level Main Drain at Three Holes to rescue the distraught beast.

Miss Arlington carried off her one-woman rescue after firemen had tried in vain to coax the black pony out of the water.

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The drama unfolded at 8.30am when the fire service got a 999 call from a stunned passer-by.

Fire crews from Outwell and King's Lynn as well as a rescue vehicle and specialist water support unit dashed to the incident, which was in the river off Main Road.

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They battled to secure a harness on the horse, using a dinghy, but were unable to keep up with it as it kept trying to swim away from them.

Heroic Miss Arlington then joined the growing two-hour battle to rescue the distressed animal.

She finally managed to get hold of the pony by plunging into the cold waters with a bucket of food and got close enough to the horse to put a rope around its neck.

Firefighters then managed to attach it to the harness and pull it on to the river bank and back to safety

Miss Arlington said: “I love horses and know how to handle them so I suggested that I go in and help.

“The firefighters were at first reluctant to let me do it but I saw it was getting very tired and distressed. I really thought it might drown.

“When the owners arrived I asked their permission and they let me go for it. I went in with a bucket of garlic charf and it wouldn't come to me at first.”

But she added: “It took me a bit of time to gain the horse's trust and let me get close to it. It was getting very cold and so was I.

“The horse was shaken up and very distressed but it's absolutely fine now.

“I've been buzzing ever since and I'm just really proud that I was able to help save a horse's life.”

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The horse was really scared, which made the rescue difficult. Firefighters tried to calm the horse down before carrying out the rescue.

“Dorne was on hand and under our supervision went into the water to gain the horses trust and put a bridle over its head which enabled the firecrews to attach a harness and pull and coax it up the bank.

“She did fantastically well and we are full of praise for her actions.”

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