Bella the kittenA kitten narrowly avoided drowning after she was rescued from a drainpipe by the RSPCA and fire and rescue officers.

The tiny female tabby kitten, thought to be about eight weeks old, was stuck in a six inch underground drainage pipe between two manhole covers in Southern Way, Harlow.

RSPCA inspector Steve Craddock and rescue officers from Harlow Fire Station carried out the rescue.

The fire officers cleared debris from the pipe and drained away the water to try and reach the kitten.

One of them then hung upside down through the manhole and managed to scoop up the bedraggled kitten and lift her to safety.

Bella the kitten with the firefighters who rescued her

Inspector Craddock said: “It’s amazing the kitten hadn’t drowned, and although she was a bit bedraggled, she was otherwise unharmed.

“The fire and rescue officers did a great job and definitely helped save this little cat’s life.”

The kitten was checked by a vet immediately after the rescue on Friday 23 November 2012.

One of the fire fighters who helped with the rescue, Steve Harrison, is adopting the beautiful, timid kitten from the RSPCA Stort Valley branch where she was cared for after she was rescued.