- Found trapped under roadside drain grate in Grimsby, Linconshire
- 14-year-old Grace Stainforth noticed mother duck guarding the drain
- RSPCA and Fire Brigade rescued family of ducklings in 45 minutes
By Sara Smyth
A dozen ducklings who were trapped down a drain, have been resuced by a team of RSPCA officers and firefighters
The tiny birds had fallen through the gaps in a grate in Grimsby, Linconshire and were unable to get out.
14-year-old Grace Stainforth noticed a mother duck and lone duckling guarding the drain and tried to lead them away from the road.
A wing and a prayer: The tiny ducklings were lucky to escape from the dirty drain unharmed. The young birds fell through the gaps in the drain's grate
Rescue effort: The ducklings were picked out of the ground by RSPCA inspectors and Fire Brigade officers. They could be hear chirping from the roadside
Reaching out: The ducklings had no way out of the deep drain. Officers were careful not to frighten the birds as they reached for them as they could move further down the drain and become harder to retrieve
She said: 'My dad picked up the duckling and handed it to me - hoping the mother duck would follow and we could take them to the park.
'However, she just wandered back to a drain on the roadside.
'My dad could hear some quiet cheeping elsewhere and when he looked down the drain he spotted the rest of the ducklings.'
Mr Stainforth called RSPCA to rescue the animals.
RSPCA officer Keith Ellis attended the scene but was unable to remove the drain grille himself and called the fire service.
Fire Brigade's white watch manager Terry Taylor said: 'We were able to use our tools to lift up the drain and gain access to the ducklings.
'We tried to do it as calmly as possible so as not to scare them as they could have easily escaped further along the drain pipe.
'If that had happened then we could have been pulling up all the drains down the road to find them.
Raised the alarm: Grace Stainforth, 14 (left) had first noticed the mother duck by the drain grate. She held the ducklings as they recovered from their ordeal. The tiny ducks were wrapped in towels (right) and cared for by RSPCA officers
Joining forces: The rescue team praised the Stainforth family for contacting the RSPCA and waiting for expert help instead of trying to reach the birds themselves
'We helped fish the ducklings out one by one and put them into a basket provided by the RSPCA.
'It took us about 45 minutes to get all 12 ducklings out of the drain.
'The RSPCA called us for assistance and Grace's family did the right thing to get in touch with the animal experts first before trying to rescue the ducklings themselves.
'I have had first hand experience at how dangerous even drains can be as I chopped off the tip of my finger in one when younger.'
Inspector Ellis said: 'Sadly every year we receive a number of calls regarding ducklings falling down drains.
'They are just so tiny that they simply fall through the grilles. I'm really grateful to the family for spotting what had happened and waiting until help arrived.'