Squirrel rescued from the sea

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Pictured:  The squirrel after being fished out of the water.<br />
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A small furry animal has been rescued from near-certain death and being swept out to sea.  The soggy squirrel had a lucky escape after being pulled from the River Hamble soaking wet and shivering.  It was rescued by Ian Rankin and a colleague, James Slater-Smith, who had been working at Port Hamble Marina.  The two marina operators were sailing a boat when they spotted “something” struggling in the water at the end of a pontoon on Monday afternoon.<br />
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They rushed towards it after realising it was a small squirrel.  Using a large barge pole the two managed to fish the animal from the river which Ian described as being “terrified and shivering”.  To help the traumatised animal recover and once back on dry land, the 32-year-old found an old crate filled with rags and placed it in a field behind the marina.  According to Ian, when night-shift workers checked on the tree-dwelling rodent to see if it was ok they found it curled up in a ball and fast asleep.<br />
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When Ian returned the next day the unnamed squirrel was gone.  It is believed it fell into the river further upstream.  Ian said: “We were out in our boat when we came across something in the water.<br />
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“On further inspection, we saw that it was a small squirrel.  It was swimming off the end of one of the pontoons.  We used a big pole with a hook on it to fish it out.  When we put the pole in the water the squirrel clambered on to it, pulling itself to safety.  It was shivering and terrified. It is the first time this kind of thing has happened since I started working here.  We were surprised to see the squirrel. It had a lucky escape.”<br />
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A Port Hamble Marina spokman said: “A massive well done to the team at Port Hamble Marina for rescuing this little Squirrel. We believe he is doing much better now he is back on ground and off to find where he hid his nuts. They definitely are Hamble Heroes.”<br />
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Please byline: Ian Rankin/Solent News<br />
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© Ian Ranki