A horse, owned by a couple from Frome, was rescued from deep mud on Burnham beach in a multi-agency operation yesterday morning.
Burnham RNLI volunteers were taking part in their regular Sunday morning training session when they were requested by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist with the rescue.
A spokesperson said: "The stricken animal had become buried up to it's haunches, in a position approximately 500 metres South-West of Burnham's iconic lower lighthouse.
"The crew of D Class lifeboat Burnham Reach, were tasked directly to assist, while the crew of Atlantic 85 Doris Day and Brian, who had been exercising adjacent to Steepholme Island, immediately diverted to monitor the situation from an off-shore position.
The incoming tide of course was a concern, high water expected at around 2.37 pm.
"This time it was the station shore crew volunteers called into action, as they assisted a rescue crew from Bedminster Avon fire rescue in carrying heavy equipment to the scene (The rescue team had been called into action at ten o’clock, arriving on scene at around eleven.)
#RedWatch animal rescue specialists were involved in a difficult rescue today in Burnham. Under time pressure due to the incoming tide, firefighters, @RNLI, @MCA_media as well as the hovercraft from @barbhovercraft safely managed to free the horse from the mud. #notjustfires pic.twitter.com/TIw1PcDZ6J— Bedminster Fire Station (@AFRSBedminster) April 14, 2019
"The rescue crew arranged large canvas strops around the animal, and on direction from the fire crew, the RNLI tractor driver used the tractor’s winch to assist in pulling the animal to safety.
"Recovery was effective at around midday, and the launch tractor winch instrumental in extraction of the animal from it’s predicament.
"Burnham’s Coastguard rescue team, and BARB search and rescue were also stood by in case of further assistance being required."
Tractor driver Stuart said after the event: "I was very concerned because the horse initially did not move after recovery, but eventually it raised it's head, and was able to stand.
"The relieved owner was happily able to walk the horse to safety."
Duty Deputy Launch Authority Lyndon Baker added: "We used the station’s launching tractors under direction from the fire service rescue team. A great result all round, and a wonderful effort from our shore volunteers."
"After the rescue we opened up our station washing facilities to the fire service who, as you can imagine, were covered with thick layers of Burnham mud."