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Drowning fox rescued by firefighters ready to be released by Sheerness-based Kent Wildlife Rescue Service

By Luke May

Firefighters are being praised for spending 40 minutes keeping a fox alive after it nearly drowned.

Crews from Chatham fire station were called out to Ingram Lane on Tuesday after a local discovered the animal trapped in an old water tank.

After pulling him out of the cold water firefighters ignored advice to have the animal put down and instead performed CPR and used animal oxygen masks.

WARNING: The images below may be distressing

The fox is well on the road to recovery at Kent Wildlife Rescue Service in Sheerness (15045213)
The fox is well on the road to recovery at Kent Wildlife Rescue Service in Sheerness (15045213)

Lorraine March from Kent Wildlife Rescue Service in Sheerness, said: "We have no idea how long the fox was in there for but it was slowly drowning.

"The work the firefighters did was amazing, they spent 40 minutes working on it. They called the RSPCA who said they were available but suggested the crew took it to the nearest vet to have it put down.

"They got hold of us instead and one of our volunteers was there inside 20 minutes."

Firefighters spent 40 minutes saving the fox's life after it was trapped in a water tank in Gillingham (15045219)
Firefighters spent 40 minutes saving the fox's life after it was trapped in a water tank in Gillingham (15045219)

Volunteers from the Isle of Sheppey charity then rushed the wily animal to Trinity Vet Centre in Hermitage Lane, Maidstone.

Vets performed X-Rays and checked the fox's lungs, while also preparing hypothermia heat pads after spending so long in cold water. Despite treading water for an unknown amount of time, the fox did not develop pneumonia.

Ms March continued: "Once vets said it was okay we took him back to the centre where he's continued to recovery. Trinity is where we take any animals in need of emergency care the work they do with us is amazing.

Firefighters spent 40 minutes saving the fox's life after it was trapped in a water tank in Gillingham (15045216)
Firefighters spent 40 minutes saving the fox's life after it was trapped in a water tank in Gillingham (15045216)

"Hopefully he'll be ready to be released on Sunday evening once the wind has calmed down a bit.

"The firefighters did a brilliant job and deserve a lot of credit, they kept working on him no matter what and they were happy our volunteer managed to get out so quickly.

"We're extremely happy with how things went. It doesn't always end this well but this time it did and that's thanks especially to the crew at Gillingham fire station."

We have approached Kent Fire and Rescue Service for a comment.

An RSPCA spokeswoman has since said the animal charity could not find the call it is said to have received.

Read more: All the latest news from Sheerness.

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