This dramatic video shows 65 stranded ducks that had become trapped in a in a pool of water that was like a “washing machine” after being swept over a steep weir.
Most of the Mallard ducks were young and unable to fly back over the weir and became trapped in the water, with some of them going round and round in circles.
They were eventually freed by RSPCA officers who spent more than three hours using a boat and a net.
Rescuers believe they had been stuck at the Calder aqueduct near Catterall, Lancs, England, for two days before the daring mission on July 13.
Five younger ducklings and two adults were also brought to safety by the charity.
Inspector Carl Larsson, who was waiting on the bank to retrieve the rescued ducks, said: “The water there is fast flowing and quite a difficult stretch to work on, so it took us well over three hours to catch the ducks as they were obviously very wary of being approached.
“These were mainly young mallard ducks who would have been born further upstream in the spring.
“Once they’d gone over the weir they became trapped in the fast flowing water which travels underneath the canal at this location.
“There’s quite a steep drop at the weir and unfortunately they were just too young to be able to fly back over it to safety.
“We think they’d probably been trapped for a couple of days as they were all ravenous and some of them were attempting to eat debris in the water.
“Once we’d released them onto the canal they all swam off quite quickly which was great to see, and we’d like to thank the member of the public who assisted us on the river bank.
“We’ll continue to monitor this stretch of the river for the next month or so until any remaining ducks are going to be old enough to get themselves out of trouble.”
All the birds were checked over before being released onto the Lancaster Canal where they quickly dispersed in groups.
But it wasn’t possible to identify the parents of five ducklings so they were taken to
Wolfwood wildlife and rescue in Ellel, Lancs,.
They will be looked after there until they are old enough to be returned to the canal on their own.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker