A MAJOR animal rescue operation was launched to save a horse after it fell into a deep water-filled ditch.

Firefighters from Port Glasgow were called to the scene at a farm in Kilmacolm just after 8pm on Saturday.

Working alongside a vet and a major fire rescue unit from Clydebank, the team battled for two hours to save the horse as water seeped over its head, neck and back.

David McGinley, watch manager at Port Glasgow Fire Station, said they used farm equipment and ropes as part of the rescue effort.

He said: “Quite a large horse fell into a water filled ditch at Clachers Farm in Kilmacolm, just off High Greenock Road.

“When we got there, the horse had water right up to its belly and its back, head and neck was in water.

“There was a vet on the scene with the horse owners.

“The vet led the operation and we used some farm equipment and strops, which are like canvas ropes, and managed to encourage the horse out of the ditch.

“We stayed on because the horse was unable to get to its feet at first.

“I think it had been in the ditch for a few hours before it was discovered.

“We managed to get the horse back on its feet and although it was very unsteady we managed to walk it back to its stables.”