Dutch Rescuers Try to Save Horse Herd

Rescuers worked Thursday (Nov. 2) to save a herd of about 100 horses stranded two days ago on a tiny knoll when a fierce storm flooded their wilderness area.


Rescue workers use small boats to evacuate trapped horses on a small piece of land in Marrum, Netherlands, on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Rescue workers were trying to save a herd of around 100 horses Thursday, Nov. 2, that have been stranded on a tiny knoll since a fierce storm threatened to submerge them two days ago, in an incident that has transfixed the nation. Many of the animals have spent two nights knee-deep in water, and 18 have drowned.

Many of the animals have spent two nights knee-deep in water, and 18 have drowned in the area outside Marrum, 90 miles northeast of Amsterdam.

Marrum's fire department floated or ferried some 20 horses to safety with the help of small boats on Wednesday.

Dutch television and daily newspapers carried dramatic photographs and footage of the horses huddled together on a tiny patch of ground surrounded by rippling water.

The Dutch army tried to rescue the rest of the herd Wednesday night, but called off the operation when water levels receded slightly and pontoon boats were grounded.

Water levels continued to fall Thursday, and the surviving animals were expected to be able to walk or swim to safety, state broadcaster NOS reported.

The Dutch Party for the Animals said it planned to file a complaint against the owner of the horses, or the operator of the wilderness area, since the national weather service had warned of rising flood waters.

One of the owners interviewed by local media said the animals initially had been brought to higher ground, but panicked Tuesday night when other herders and emergency service workers cast spotlights on them.

About the Author

The Associated Press


Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More