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Local heroes rescue ducklings that had fallen down a drain

PUBLISHED: 13:40 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:47 11 July 2019

Residents in a Diss street helped recue three ducklings from the drain and reunited them with their mother. Pictures: Simon Parkin/Paula Fowles

Residents in a Diss street helped recue three ducklings from the drain and reunited them with their mother. Pictures: Simon Parkin/Paula Fowles

Archant

Three ducklings were rescued from being washed down the drains and were reunited with their mother after neighbours were spurred into action.

Though they could only be heard quacking below manhole covers at Bartrums Mews in Diss, the plight of the lost ducklings prompted a rescue mission involving residents and even a visiting car mechanic who scoured the drains to recover them.

The drain covers had to be prised open and grates searched in an operation that took almost three hours but eventually saw the ducklings retrieved unharmed by their misadventure.

Dean Fowles and Rob Payne prising open manhole covers in their search for three lost ducklings in Diss. Picture: Paula FowlesDean Fowles and Rob Payne prising open manhole covers in their search for three lost ducklings in Diss. Picture: Paula Fowles

Paula and Dean Fowles, who have been feeding ducks that live on a nearby stream since they moved into the road three years ago, were among those who rallied to the community rescue.

Mrs Fowles said: "We were woken by a neighbour banging on the door saying to come and help because I'm sure there are ducklings that have dropped down the drain.

Recovering the three lost ducklings that had fallen down the drains in Diss. Picture: Paula FowlesRecovering the three lost ducklings that had fallen down the drains in Diss. Picture: Paula Fowles

"The little ducklings are so small and they had dropped through the grate and floated off down the drains. At first we thought there was one but it turned out to be three down there. You could hear them all along the road and we just thought we have got to get them out."

The mother duck and her remaining seven ducklings were nearby as the couple and fellow rescuers, including next door neighbour Natalie Hull and mechanic Rob Payne, tried to reunite them.

Reunited: the three lost ducklings back with their mother after their misadventure down the drains in Diss. Picture: Paula FowlesReunited: the three lost ducklings back with their mother after their misadventure down the drains in Diss. Picture: Paula Fowles

"The mum was really quacking away because she could clearly hear the young ducklings. I thought this drain cover has got to come up so we can to reunite them," said Mrs Fowles.

"My husband got his pickaxe to try to hook it under to try to get the cover up then a neighbour brought out a long jack and we also got that under, then a friend of hers, Rob, also helped out.

Dean and Paula Fowles (left and right) together with fellow Diss duckling rescuer neighbour Natalie Hull and her seven month old daughter Ellie. Picture: Simon ParkinDean and Paula Fowles (left and right) together with fellow Diss duckling rescuer neighbour Natalie Hull and her seven month old daughter Ellie. Picture: Simon Parkin

"We could eventually see them so we got a net and managed to fish out two of them, but the other one disappeared further down another drain.

"I said we can't leave it so we went to stand by the smaller grates and eventually we could hear it in one of them. We quickly got the cover off and got it out.

The mother duck sitting on her 10 ducklings including three rescued from drains in Diss. Picture: Paula FowlesThe mother duck sitting on her 10 ducklings including three rescued from drains in Diss. Picture: Paula Fowles

"It was absolutely brilliant to see them perfectly happy and quacking away. They were all okay. One of them ran to his mum, it was so great to see."

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