Firefighters from Darlington and Bishop Auckland rescued a bull stuck in mud at the edge of the flooded River Tees in Darlington.

One crew from Darlington and two crews from Bishop Auckland were called at 2.26pm on Sunday, April 7 to help the animal in the Blackwell area of Darlington.

The firefighters worked with Richmond Fire Appliance & Water Rescue Unit from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to help save the bull, which was stuck on the riverbank, submerged in deep mud.

The Northern Farmer: Firefighters used a lot of man power to rescue the trapped bull

Struggling to lift the bull manually from the water, extra help from specialist animal rescue equipment and aid from the farmer was required to lift the animal out of the water.

After some serious heavy lifting the crews were able then leave the scene at around 4.45pm as the bull was returned safely back to dry land.

Darlington Blue Watch Crew Manager, Jaycie Hall, said: “We managed to get a rope around the neck of the bull and get it to the riverbank.

“An appliance from Richmond arrived and water technicians got in and we tried to manually get the bull out but couldn’t.

“Two appliances from Bishop Auckland were also called to the scene.

“With their animal expertise and animal rescue equipment, used in conjunction with some working at height techniques, we were able to pull the bull free of the riverbank and away from danger.

“The farmer was also in attendance and helped us out.

“After a little rest, the bull was up and about as we were leaving the scene.

“The river was very flooded and swift moving, and all the riverbanks were deep mud, so it was quite a challenging job.

“We were very happy to be able to rescue the bull successfully.”