Ducklings rescued from Swaffham drain by police, fire and public

Members of the public, firefighters and the police joined forces to rescue 13 ducklings trapped in a roadside drain.

The three-hour drama unfolded on Saturday night in Swaffham, Norfolk.

After seeing a post on social media, Sarah Griffiths and daughter Zoe grabbed a fishing net and cat carrier and joined others, including a passing police officer and fire crews.

The mother and two of her other ducklings had left the area, and the 13 rescued birds were now being cared for.

It was initially thought just the one duckling was stuck in the drain – but it transpired it had a dozen siblings in the same predicament.

They were “quite a long way down in the drain” and had had all gone into the pipeline at the bottom of the drain hole, said Ms Griffiths.

Duckling in a pipe

One by one they were persuaded to come out

Lying down on the road, the rescuers had to “get into the drain – as best as you can”, she explained.

“You have to stick the net in and scoop them out, but the trouble is, then they start going up the pipe,” she said.

It is not the first time she has rescued ducklings in distress and another seasoned rescuer was “playing mum-duck sounds and that kind of helped bring them back out”.

But… there was one who was not playing ball and “went all the way up the pipe – and that’s when the emergency services started getting involved”, Ms Griffiths said.

The police officer had already stopped and put the blue lights on on their car and placed cones out to protect the roadside rescuers from traffic.

Then the fire service arrived after the police officer called them.

People trying to rescue ducklings in a drain

Rescuers tried various methods to persuade the duckling to come out

“We didn’t really want to involve the emergency services – we’re just a group of people trying to do a good thing,” Ms Griffiths said.

Fire crews managed to lift an old manhole cover in the middle of the road so they could reach in and retrieve the final duckling in the pipe.

As the mother duck had left, and could not be found, all 13 were taken home by one of the rescuers who rears ducklings.

They will be released back to the wild when they are old enough to fend for themselves.

“Seeing the effort that everyone went to… to save these little ducklings’ lives, down to the final one, was so unbelievably heart-warming,” Ms Griffiths added.

Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email [email protected]