“It died in our arms”: Heartbreak as Brayford cygnet killed by fishing wire

A Lincoln resident has described the traumatic moment a cygnet on the Brayford died after it became trapped in fishing wire this weekend.

Passers-by jumped into the water in a desperate attempt to free the baby swan on the afternoon of Sunday, July 2 and one woman attempted to give the bird mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Despite the quick action of the group, it died in the arms of its rescuers.

There are now calls for people to stop throwing litter and fishing equipment into the water and to protect other animals.

One of those who stopped to help, who asked not to be named, told The Lincolnite that fishing wire had become wrapped around the cygnet’s neck. It was spotted near to the footpath on Brayford Wharf East struggling to breathe.

She said: “Me and a few other girls were doubting what to do when someone else asked us if we could help her get into the water.

“I was hanging from the side of the fence to hold her as she grabbed the baby swan, then we got it on the pavement where I tried to find a pulse. She was removing a fishing line from around his neck.

“A bystander called the RSPCA and a vet for help. The vet told us that a pulse was right under the wing, where we found a really slow pulse.

“The swan had a large part of fishing line in its throat (and we didnt know if it had a hook in it or not) we couldn’t pull out this line.

“After around 15 minutes the swan lost its pulse and the woman who got it out of the water and I tried to reanimate the swan while still waiting for the RSPCA. Another woman was trying to breath air in the lungs of the swan as I was giving it a heart massage.

“But this didnt work and the swan died in our arms. Ten minutes later the rspca came and took the swan with them.”

She went on to say that the baby swan also had fishing line wrapped around its wing, which flesh had grown over.

“It was very upsetting. It is hard to feel any living creature dying in your arms.

“I hope this sends a message to people to stop throwing things into the Brayford and to fishers to stop leaving things in the water.”