tale-of-survival

Woman battles for 3 hours to save her stuck horse from rising tide

Feb. 28, 2012 at 5:12 PM ET

Newspix via Rex USA
Feature Rates Apply. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Newspix/Rex / Rex USA (989619d) Nicole Graham comforts her 18-year-old horse 'Astro' as members of the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the State Emergency Services (SES) attempt to free the 500kg horse Horse rescued from thick mud at Avalon Beach in Geelong, Victoria, Australia - 26 Feb 2012 Saved from tidal terror IT was a race against the tide that pulled at the heartstrings. For three hours yesterday, show horse Astro was stuck neck deep in thick mud at Avalon Beach on Corio Bay as the tide inched closer. Rescue crews first tried to pull the 18-year-old, 500kg horse free with fire hoses, and then a winch before a vet turned up to sedate Astro and pull him clear with a tractor. The crews knew by 5pm the tide would have come all the way in. But within minutes of the waters rising around him, Astro was being dragged up on to solid ground slowly but surely, the team filthy but ecstatic. Owner Nicole Graham (above) said she and daughter Paris, 7, set off at noon when without warning she sunk up to her waist in thick, smelly muck.

This is a truly amazing tale that involves a woman, a horse, and a group of dedicated rescuers on a beach in Australia.

A woman was out for an afternoon ride with her daughter when her horse suddenly sunk neck deep into the thick mud of Avalon Beach in Geelong, Victoria. What followed, reports Newspix, was a grueling three-hour rescue caught in photos. As Nicole Graham held the head of 18-year-old Astro from drowning in the rising tide, members of the fire department, emergency services, and a vet attempted to free the 1,100-pound horse. First they tried using fire hoses, then a winch. Making little progress, the vet, Stacey Sullivan, sedated him so that he could be pulled out with a tractor.

Throughout it all, Graham stayed waist high in the mud, calming the horse through every attempt and holding his nose above the water. Luckily they were able to pull him clear before the tide came in.

See the incredible rescue unfold in these photos.

Newspix via Rex USA
Feature Rates Apply. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Newspix/Rex / Rex USA (989619k) Nicole Graham comforts her 18-year-old horse 'Astro' as members of the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the State Emergency Services (SES) attempt to free the 500kg horse after he became stuck up to his neck in thick mud at Avalon Beach in Geelong, Victoria. Horse rescued from thick mud at Avalon Beach in Geelong, Victoria, Australia - 26 Feb 2012 Saved from tidal terror IT was a race against the tide that pulled at the heartstrings. For three hours yesterday, show horse Astro was stuck neck deep in thick mud at Avalon Beach on Corio Bay as the tide inched closer. Rescue crews first tried to pull the 18-year-old, 500kg horse free with fire hoses, and then a winch before a vet turned up to sedate Astro and pull him clear with a tractor. The crews knew by 5pm the tide would have come all the way in. But within minutes of the waters rising around him, Astro was being dragged up on to solid ground slowly but surely, the team filthy but ecstatic. Owner Nicole Graham (above) said she and daughter Paris, 7, set off at noon when without warning she sunk up to her waist in thick, smelly muck.
Newspix via Rex USA
Feature Rates Apply. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Newspix/Rex / Rex USA (989619l) Nicole Graham comforts her 18-year-old horse 'Astro' as members of the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the State Emergency Services (SES) attempt to free the 500kg horse Horse rescued from thick mud at Avalon Beach in Geelong, Victoria, Australia - 26 Feb 2012 Saved from tidal terror IT was a race against the tide that pulled at the heartstrings. For three hours yesterday, show horse Astro was stuck neck deep in thick mud at Avalon Beach on Corio Bay as the tide inched closer. Rescue crews first tried to pull the 18-year-old, 500kg horse free with fire hoses, and then a winch before a vet turned up to sedate Astro and pull him clear with a tractor. The crews knew by 5pm the tide would have come all the way in. But within minutes of the waters rising around him, Astro was being dragged up on to solid ground slowly but surely, the team filthy but ecstatic. Owner Nicole Graham (above) said she and daughter Paris, 7, set off at noon when without warning she sunk up to her waist in thick, smelly muck.
Newspix via Rex USA
Feature Rates Apply. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Newspix/Rex / Rex USA (989619p) Nicole Graham leads her 18-year-old horse 'Astro' away from the beach after members of the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the State Emergency Services (SES) successfully freed the 500kg horse after he became stuck Horse rescued from thick mud at Avalon Beach in Geelong, Victoria, Australia - 26 Feb 2012 Saved from tidal terror IT was a race against the tide that pulled at the heartstrings. For three hours yesterday, show horse Astro was stuck neck deep in thick mud at Avalon Beach on Corio Bay as the tide inched closer. Rescue crews first tried to pull the 18-year-old, 500kg horse free with fire hoses, and then a winch before a vet turned up to sedate Astro and pull him clear with a tractor. The crews knew by 5pm the tide would have come all the way in. But within minutes of the waters rising around him, Astro was being dragged up on to solid ground slowly but surely, the team filthy but ecstatic. Owner Nicole Graham (above) said she and daughter Paris, 7, set off at noon when without warning she sunk up to her waist in thick, smelly muck.

 

— This was posted by TODAY.com producer Lisa Granshaw. She loves seeing animal stories with happy endings!

More:

Which breed is America’s top dog this year?

Hank, cat of the people, is running for Senate

World's most famous hawk loses another mate

Faceless kitten photos: Cute or kooky?

Follow @TODAYPets for your daily dose of cute!

TOP