Boy scouts save drowning sheep during canoe trip

Teens halt trip to save stranded sheep on River Avon

Updated: 
Boy scouts saves drowning sheep during canoe trip

This is the touching moment a group of boy scouts abandoned a canoe expedition to save a drowning sheep that they spotted stuck on the banks of a river.

The four boys, who are all aged 13, from the 5th Worcester Sea Scouts, spotted the sheep as they made their way down the River Avon as part of an eight-mile sailing trip.

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Kindhearted James Wilkes, Jack Fisher, Darrian Moore and Robert Haines had been sailing along a stretch of the river in Pershore, Worcestershire, when they heard the sheep bleating as it lay stuck on the bank.

They manoeuvred their boat as close to the sheep as they could, while three of the boys clambered out of the boat to pull the animal to safety, while the fourth pushed the sheep while keeping control of the boat.

Within minutes, they had the sheep back on dry land - where it ran off, unharmed, to join the rest of the flock.

Boy scouts saves drowning sheep during canoe trip

Their scout leader, Robert Sidley, 35, captured the whole rescue on camera.

Group Leader Robert Sidley, 35, said: "They all did extraordinarily well. Their teamwork really shone through, working with each other and are certainly very dedicated to each other.

"This is what the Scouts are all about; the challenging team building activities and the values and ethos of the Scouts really came through on this occasion. All their hard work paid off.

"As to who the sheep belonged to, that is still a mystery, but when we watched it run off for the fields, the other scouts on the expedition cheered for the boys. Everyone was delighted for the boys, it was an all-round great day for everyone."

After all their efforts pulling it to safety, the boys attempted to swim back to the canoe, but rewarded themselves with a swim and cool off in the river instead before carrying on with their overnight expedition.

Boy scout James Wilkes, 13, said: "Our canoe and had separated from the group and gone a bit further ahead, and as we got down the river we came across the sheep stuck in the mud.

"We did think it was just sat there but it started to struggle. We did start to wonder what to do, so we all grouped together to help it.

"As we approached it, we saw the legs were submerged in the mud on the bank, so we got underneath its legs to help it out, but then we realised its head kept getting stuck and so Rob had to help get the head out.

"It was really tiring but was worth it. I felt quite proud of myself because if we left it there, it probably would have died, instead of going back to the fields, but at first we didn't think anything of it, nobody even talked about it after it initially happened. We didn't think we had done anything worth cheering for."

James's mother, Claire, said: "I first saw the pictures on our Facebook group for the scout group, but when James got home, he told us all about it.

"It must have taken a lot of effort to pull that sheep out, they all put their skills into action which was great to see, especially after being around this environment since he was five, James really got to show how much he had learnt.

"I am immensely proud of him and all of the boys, it was a lovely thing to do, they obviously worked as a team, but I don't think they realise what they had done.

"James came home and played it down, but I think for them they feel they hadn't done anything particularly meaningful. They just went into scout mode when they saw it."

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Animal photobombs


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