Horse rescued from River Douglas in Wigan

Molly the horse being rescued from the river Douglas
Image caption Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said the rescue was "difficult"

Firefighters who rescued a horse from a flooded Greater Manchester river have said the animal was "safe and well".

Crews were called to Martland Park, Wigan, on Tuesday morning after receiving reports of a horse being unable to get out of the River Douglas.

Water rescue teams worked for three hours with ropes and an inflated fire hose to rescue 16-year-old mare Molly.

Station manager Ben Levy said the rescue was "difficult" due to "the heavy rain we've had recently".

'Muddy banks'

Image caption Molly was helped out of the river by firefighters

He said members of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) had initially attempted to rescue the horse, but had been unsuccessful, so had called Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service for help.

Two specialist water rescue crews attended the incident and used the hose "to create a barrier to guide Molly to a safe area before getting strops round her," he said.

He added the mare had been moved down the river to a "suitable spot" before being walked out of the water.

"It took three hours in total to rescue Molly from the river [which] was quite deep because it was flooded due to the heavy rain we've had recently," he said.

"The rescue was difficult not only due to flooded river, but also because of the very steep and muddy banks, but she came out and is safe and well thanks to the efforts of our crews and the RSPCA."

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