Gull caught in fishing line and hooks at Sovereign Harbour (1)



A member of the public swam out to rescue a drowning young gull at Sovereign Harbour this evening which was struggling to stay afloat.


East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) received a call from a member of the public called Harry and his family after they came across a young gull with fishing line wrapped around its wing and legs at Sovereign Harbour Eastbourne.

Gull caught in fishing line and hooks at Sovereign Harbour (2)

The bird was trailing a large amount of rigging consisting of 15 hooks of various different sizes and barbs. The young bird was unable to fly or even get out of the water. It had been on the water some time and was starting to give up when rescuers arrived.


“It could barely hold its head up when we arrived and it quickly became clear that our rescue nets couldn’t reach the bird and our boat was too far away to be of assistance quickly enough.” Said Rescuer Jen Holloway.

Gull caught in fishing line and hooks at Sovereign Harbour (3)

Rescuer were amazed when  Harry then did something truly amazing and swam out to the bird. Risking becoming entangled in the line and caught on hooks the member of the public managed to swim the gull to shore where rescuers were then able to take over and save the gull.


Rescuer rushed the gull to WRAS’s emergency vet where the hooks were safely removed and the birds wounds treated.


WRAS would like to express its thanks to Harry and his family for undertaking such a brave rescue and saving this birds life.




Press Contact:

Trevor Weeks & Chris Riddington – 01825-873003


Gull caught in fishing line and hooks at Sovereign Harbour (4)

Trevor Weeks MBE

Founder & Operations Director

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS)

Reg Charity 1108880

Reg Address: 8 Stour Close, Stone Cross, BN24 5QU

Hospital Address: Unit 8 The Shaw Barn, Whitesmith, Lewes, BN8 6JD

24hr Rescue Line: 07815-078234

Private Mobile: 07931-523958

An award winning community charity.

IFAW Animal Action Award Winners 2010

ITV1 British Animal Honours Awards Local Charity of the Year 2013

BBC Radio Sussex & Surrey Community Heroes Award for Animal Welfare 2012



About Trevor Weeks

Trevor Weeks MBE Operations Director for East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) Trevor started undertaking wildlife rescue and conservation work in 1985 when just 13 years old, and his life has been dedicated to the care of wildlife ever since. East Sussex Wildlife Rescue was established as a voluntary group in 1996 and became a registered charity in 2005. WRAS now has four veterinary ambulances and a Casualty Care Centre on the A22 between Hailsham and Uckfield capable of looking after up to 200 casualties at a time. The charity is primarily run by volunteers and relies of donations to fund its award winning life saving service.