IMG_20170116_154316363A man who assisted RSPCA Cymru in the attempted rescue of an injured gull by utilising his model boat has been thanked by the charity.

The RSPCA was called on 16 January, following reports of an injured bird at Cold Knap, in Barry.

An RSPCA inspector arrived to find a gull, swimming in the Cold Knap lake but appearing to struggle, while in obvious distress.

The location of the bird would have meant the RSPCA having to leave the scene to secure access to an inspectorate boat to complete a water rescue of the gull.

However, Mark Waite – of the Barry Model Boat Club – kindly used his model tug boat to gently encourage the bird closer to the edge. This allowed the gull to be safely caught in a net by the RSPCA without the need for further inspectorate equipment.

Sadly, the bird had to be put to sleep due to the extent of its injuries – which left it unable to stand, and with a severely damaged wing. However, the man’s actions helped prevent prolonged suffering of the bird.

Christine McNeil, RSPCA inspector, said:

“This was certainly one of the more unusual incidences I’ve been involved in as an RSPCA Inspector.

“We use a great deal of equipment to help us protect the welfare of animals across Wales – but never model boats.

“Sadly, the gull’s injuries were so severe, that we had to put the bird to sleep to prevent further suffering. However, Mark’s actions helped ensure this poor gull did not endure an extended period of suffering, and we thank him for his efforts and kindness.”

Mark Waite, of Barry Model Boat Club, added:

“I was pleased to be able to help with this attempted rescue.

“Whilst it’s a shame the gull didn’t make it, at least we managed to ensure it didn’t endure prolonged suffering.

“Inspector McNeil was absolutely fabulous – and her commitment to helping the bird was clear. I was just pleased I was able to help the RSPCA.”

Should you wish to support the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting LOVE to 87023 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity and rely on public donations to exist.