AN ANGLER risked his own safety to save this sheep (pictured) that was facing certain death in a freezing river.

Andrew Kennedy found the animal at the start of an evening barbel session on his local Derbyshire Derwent.

Alfreton-based Andrew explained: “As I was walking to bait up a few spots I heard a faint bleat of a sheep, close by, but the only ones I could see where at the other end of the field.

“Another bleat, that came from the river. I looked below the sheer, high bank I was stood on and there was a sheep, completely stranded, above its armpits in water.

“With a high bank one side and deep water the other, this sheep was well and truly stuck there.

The sheep was stranded in a precarious position.

Andrew continued: “There was a small ledge behind the sheep and, as I had my waders on, I thought if I could get the sheep onto that I could possibly lift it up back into the field.

“I didn’t really think I stood a chance of moving it but I had my waders on, so I found a way into the water, which was only just shallow enough to not overflow into them.

“The sheep seemed completely exhausted and thankfully didn’t struggle, but it also didn’t help itself either. Getting it onto the ledge was awkward because its legs just went floppy.

“I could only grab handfuls of wool and this waterlogged sheep was surprisingly heavy, so there were a few precarious few moments, but I managed to move the sheep to a spot where we could both get our breath back.

“I knew I couldn’t lift the sheep any further up the high bank by its wool, so I thought hard what to do next.

“I spent a few weeks on a sheep station about 15 years ago and I thought back to how the sheep shearers dragged large sheep around by the legs, quite easily.

“So I rolled the sheep over, grabbed two legs in each hand and lifted it up the back.

“I managed to get it and myself up to safety and within a few minutes it was off happily chewing grass.

Andrew Kennedy was delighted to have saved the sheep – but unlike in this picture, his fishing luck wasn’t in on this occasion.

Andrew added: “The night dropped quite cool later on and with the water so high up the sheep’s body, I’m sure it wouldn’t have seen the night through if I’d left it where it was.

“I was hoping for a bit of good karma after my good deed, but I didn’t get as much as a tip tremor all evening,” he concluded.

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