A young swan has been rescued from Canada Water Dock after being trapped in a void for three weeks.
The cygnet – Andy – first flew in on January 16 and was attacked by the two male and female swans that already lived there. To escape, it went under a void at one side of the dock and stayed there.
Local residents led by swan sanctuary volunteer Andy Miller started to worry about its welfare and tried to feed it but without much luck. The cygnet came out again but was attacked by the two swans and retreated.
Mr Miller and others then tried to put netting down a short distance outside the void, so the cygnet could come out safely without fearing another attack – but this did not work.
Finally, the locals called Swan Support, a swan rescue organisation, who sent a diver – James – to fetch the cygnet out. James went underwater and was able to coax the cygnet out of the void and bring it to safety. The whole operation took about two hours, with James being cheered on by locals on the bank.
It was looking very thin for lack of food and had some minor injuries, but was otherwise fine. Swan Support took the cygnet to a swan sanctuary in Shepperton in Surrey, where it is being rehabilitated.
Mr Miller said: “I’m very relieved – it’s just a huge weight off my mind… the diver pulled off a miracle as far as I’m concerned.”
But cygnet Andy will not be able to return south of the river. When he is doing better he will be released into the Thames at Limehouse, on the north side of the river, where he will hopefully join a flock of fellow young swan