Yesterday, Rutland’s heroic team of specially trained Ospreys, celebrated the end of their Spring and Summer sojourn at Rutland Water, Europe’s largest man-made lake, by rescuing their one millionth fish from drowning!!! As September starts these magnificent mini air-ambulances will set course for Africa leaving Rutland Water’s population of mainly brown and rainbow trout to fend for themselves.
In the spectacular photograph above, team leader, ‘Ozzie The Osprey’ can be seen as he narrowly snatches a trout from a certain watery death. You can see how the trout is twisting round as if to say, ‘thank you mate’ to his avian rescuer. To the left, Ozzie’s second-in-command, ‘Oswald The Osprey’, carries out an equally difficult but plucky rescue.
Jim Applebum, Chief Osprey Coaching Officer, or COCO as he’s known to his team is modest about Team Osprey’s achievements. “To be honest,” the diminutive bird-lover admits, “the whole thing seems to be instinctive to the birds. Dawn or evenings, they’re out there, tirelessly patrolling the 3100 acres of Rutland Water, looking for fish in danger of drowning.”
Rutland Water is not the only place where this kind of rescue activity can be seen. Although the ‘Great White Shark Ambulance Service’ proved to be less than successful in the Caribbean area, ‘African Snake Rescue’ in Kenya is beginning to record some spectacular rescues as featured right, which shows Hissing Sid’s fearless rescue of a hapless fish.
Plans to expand this service are already underway. With the Rutland Aquapark set to more than double in size next year, Rutland County Council, in conjunction with Anglian Water, are planning to introduce patrol sharks into Whitwell Bay to help swimmers in distress next summer. Councillor Queen, Portfolio Holder For Everything, was dismissive of fears engendered by the Great White Shark Ambulance Service’s notorious failure. “RCC has a long list of innovative successes,” he claimed. “Such as the successful move of all cars from the capacious Council Offices Car Park into the crowded roads of the Edmonton Way Housing Estate, the always empty ‘Shorelink’ buses, the thousands of miles of unused cycle paths and the planned Rutland Lighthouse. I feel sure that Rutland Water Shark Rescue will be another dazzling success in that same famous tradition.”
Something else to look forward to then.