Makeshift ‘duck retriever’ used to rescue ducklings in Rugby drain

The six ducklings in the firefighters hands after being rescued. Photo: Peter Realf NNL-170506-113752001
The six ducklings in the firefighters hands after being rescued. Photo: Peter Realf NNL-170506-113752001

Firefighters and passersby used their intuition to rescue six ducklings who fell down a storm drain on Friday night (June 2).

A makeshift ‘duck retriever’ – an ice cream tub on the end of a garden cane – was used to hook the ducklings out of the drain on the A4071 Western Relief Road.

Peter Realf (left) and Keith Floyd with the 'duck retriever'. Photo: Peter Realf NNL-170506-114549001

Peter Realf (left) and Keith Floyd with the 'duck retriever'. Photo: Peter Realf NNL-170506-114549001

A crew from Rugby Fire Station helped get the drain cover off and Peter Realf, who first saw the ducklings, was very thankful to them.

“I was delighted that the fire service were able to assist as we couldn’t have done it on our own,” he said.

“We just couldn’t get the drain cover to budge so I thought it was very kind of them to sort it out and rescue the ducklings.”

Peter saw a mother duck and her ducklings going mad on the Cawston bypass at around 9.30pm and after stopping to investigate, realised two were stuck at the bottom of a drain.

The ducklings at Nuneaton Wildlife Sanctuary NNL-170506-121543001

The ducklings at Nuneaton Wildlife Sanctuary NNL-170506-121543001

Unable to reach them and with no one from the RSPCA available, he quickly went home and created the ‘duck retriever’ with the help of his friends Keith and Joy Floyd.

Once Peter and Keith got back to the drain near the Cemex cement plant, the other ducklings had fallen in with no sign of the mother.

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service were called at around 11.25pm as they could not get the drain cover off.

But the drenched ducklings were soon hooked out, dried off and taken to Nuneaton Wildlife Sanctuary, where they are being cared for.

The ducklings are being looked after at Nuneaton Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo: Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service NNL-170506-113425001

The ducklings are being looked after at Nuneaton Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo: Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service NNL-170506-113425001

“I couldn’t drive past and leave the mother and her ducklings to die on that busy road,” Peter said.

“I’m very grateful to my friend Keith Floyd and the crew from Rugby Fire Station who helped give this story a happy ending.”

Sanctuary owner Geoff Grewcock said the ducklings are doing very well and expected them to stay there for about four weeks before being released.

Fire fighters rescue ducklings stuck in storm drain in Rugby