Dramatic Rescue Saves 100 Horses Stuck On Island After Massive Flood
News| | By Jason Owen
When 100 horses were stranded after a sudden rainstorm, six women braved freezing waters in a scene that can only be described as heroic. A powerful storm swept through the region of Marrum, Amsterdam, sending a huge storm surge inland over the dikes protecting the coastal town. The area was heavily flooded, with low-lying areas submerged under several feet of water. One local farm took the brunt of the disaster where more than a dozen horses drowned.
However, more than 100 of the horses were still alive, but sequestered to a small knoll still resting above the waters. For days, rescuers made several attempts to lure the horses off the knoll, but the frightened animals wouldn’t budge. With no food and the horses’ health rapidly declining, rescuers were baffled as to how they could corral the animals safely through the flood waters. Mother Nature, however, was not about to make the situation easier. Forecasts were calling for a second impending storm where they estimated floodwaters would rise yet again. The horses would never survive. With no other options and time expiring, six female riders on horseback met at Marrum. They were going to take matters into their own hands, even if it risked their lives. They braved the waters through the shallowest route rescuers could measure. Their six horses traversed the floodwaters and came to the herd’s side. Then they turned back. The six women guided the 100 horses more than 650 yards back to safety. Besides the initial 19 horses that died, no other horses lost their lives in the rescue. One of the six women suffered pneumonia from the rescue, but ultimately recovered. No others were harmed. The six women were later honored by the Netherlands government for their bravery and courage. They and the horses were commemorated with this display of horse hoof decorations, a symbol of the Friesland flag. Bravery truly comes in many forms.
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